Saturday, July 6, 2019


First Saturday
MARIA GORETTI-FRIED CHICKEN

John, Chapter 12, Verse 25
Whoever loves his life--loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life.

We are all seeds and a seed that is not buried will not bear fruit. Jesus is mentioning his own self-giving which He joins to that of His disciples. They are called to identical servant roles.[1] This is servant leadership.

The servant leader is servant first…. Becoming a servant-leader begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. That person is sharply different from one who is leader first, perhaps because of the need to assuage an unusual power drive or to acquire material possessions. For such people, it will be a later choice to serve—after leadership is established. The leader-first and the servant-first are two extreme types. Between them are the shadings and blends that are part of the infinite variety of human nature (Greenleaf, 2002, pp. 24-25)

Finding your Voice[2]


The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness is a book written by Stephen R. Covey, published in 2004. It is an upgrade of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, first published in 1989. As such, it clarifies and reinforces Covey's earlier declaration that "Interdependence is a higher value than independence." The eighth habit is "Find your voice and inspire others to find theirs." Voice is Covey's code for "unique personal significance." Those who inspire others to find theirs are the leaders needed now and for the future, according to Covey. The central idea of the book is the need for steady recovery and application of the whole person paradigm, which holds that persons have four intelligences - physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual. Denial of any of them reduces persons to things, inviting many problems. The industrial age is assumed to have been a period dependent on such denial. Covey believed the information age and a foreseen "Age of Wisdom" requires "whole" people (in whole jobs). The book talks of "5 Cancerous Behaviors" that inhibit people's greatness:

·         Criticism
·         Complaining
·         Comparing
·         Competing
·         Contending

People can discover their voice because of the three gifts everyone is born with:

·         The freedom to choose

·         The natural laws or principles – those that dictate the consequences of behavior. Positive consequences come from fairness, kindness, respect, honesty, integrity, service and contribution

·         The four intelligences – mental, physical, emotional and spiritual. Covey talks about great achievers expressing their voice through the use of their intelligences.

Achievers for example

1.      develop their mental energy into vision
2.      develop their physical energy into discipline
3.      develop their emotional energy into passion
4.      develop their spiritual energy into conscience – their inward moral sense of what is right and wrong and their drive towards meaning and contribution.

First Saturday[3]


The elements of this devotion, therefore, consist in the following four points, all of which must be offered in reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

1.       Confession: This confession can be made before the First Saturday or afterward, provided that Holy Communion be received in the state of grace. In 1926, Christ in a vision explained to Lucia (Fatima) that this confession could be made a week before or even more, and that it should be offered in reparation.
2.       Holy Communion: Before receiving Holy Communion, it is likewise necessary to offer it in reparation to Our Lady. Our Lord told Lucia in 1930, “This Communion will be accepted on the following Sunday for just reasons, if my priests allow it so.” So, if work or school, sickness, or another just reason prevents the Communion on a First Saturday, with this permission it may be received the following Sunday. If Communion is transferred, any or all of the other acts of the devotion may also be performed on Sunday if the person so desires.
3.       Rosary: The Rosary is a vocal prayer said while meditating upon the mysteries of Our Lord’s life and Passion and Our Lady’s life. To comply with the request of our Blessed Mother, it must be offered in reparation and said properly while meditating.
4.       15-minute meditation: Also offered in reparation, the meditation may embrace one or more mysteries; it may include all, taken together or separately. This meditation should be the richest of any meditation, because Our Lady promised to be present when she said “...those who keep me company....”

This devotion is so necessary in our days

The culture of vice and sin remains unabated even as one reads this. Abortion, blasphemy, drug abuse, pornography, divorce and bad marriages, religious indifference, the advances of the homosexual agenda and others are just some of society’s many plagues that cut deeply into the Immaculate Heart of Mary. We must console Our Lady amidst all these insults and injuries to her and her Divine Son. She asks for reparation, she pleads for our prayers, she hopes for our amendment of life. Let us listen to her maternal pleas and atone for the ingratitude of men. The First Five Saturday’s devotion stimulates the spirit of reparation; it instills a tender love for the Holy Sacraments of Confession and the Blessed Eucharist. It nurtures a holy affection for the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Rosary. Above all, it is an excellent means to maintain one in the state of grace while immersed in the daily spiritual battles and prosaic existence in the neo-pagan world that we live in. Let us not delay in observing this devotion for it too gives us hope for eternal salvation.

St. Maria Goretti[4]


St. Maria Goretti was born of a poor family in Corinaldi, Italy, in 1890. Near Nettuno she spent a difficult childhood assisting her mother in domestic duties. She was of a pious nature and often at prayer. In 1902 she was stabbed to death, preferring to die rather than be raped. (Office of Readings)

"It is well known how this young girl had to face a bitter struggle with no way to defend herself. Without warning a vicious stranger (actually Alessandro Serenelli who lived with his father in the same house as the Goretti's.) burst upon her, bent on raping her and destroying her childlike purity. In that moment of crisis, she could have spoken to her Redeemer in the words of that classic, The Imitation of Christ: "Though tested and plagued by a host of misfortunes, I have no fear so long as your grace is with me. It is my strength, stronger than any adversary; it helps me and gives me guidance." With splendid courage she surrendered herself to God and his grace and so gave her life to protect her virginity.

"The life of this simple girl—I shall concern myself only with highlights—we can see as worthy of heaven. Even today people can look upon it with admiration and respect. Parents can learn from her story how to raise their God-given children in virtue, courage and holiness; they can learn to train them in the Catholic faith so that, when put to the test, God's grace will support them and they will come through undefeated, unscathed and untarnished.

"From Maria's story carefree children and young people with their zest for life can learn not to be led astray by attractive pleasures which are not only ephemeral and empty but also sinful. Instead they can fix their sights on achieving Christian moral perfection, however difficult and hazardous that course may prove. With determination and God's help all of us can attain that goal by persistent effort and prayer.

"Not all of us are expected to die a martyr's death, but we are all called to the pursuit of Christian virtue. This demands strength of character though it may not match that of this innocent girl. Still, a constant, persistent and relentless effort is asked of us right up to the moment of our death. This may be conceived as a slow steady martyrdom which Christ urged upon us when he said: The kingdom of heaven is set upon and laid waste by violent forces.

"So, let us all, with God's grace, strive to reach the goal that the example of the virgin martyr, Saint Maria Goretti, sets before us. Through her prayers to the Redeemer may all of us, each in his own way, joyfully try to follow the inspiring example of Maria Goretti who now enjoys eternal happiness in heaven."

Excerpted from a homily at the canonization of Saint Maria Goretti by Pope Pius XII

Imprisoned for murder she appeared to him in his cell and forgave him and he was subsequently converted. Most importantly, he sat next to her mother at the beatification, who also forgave him.
Patron: Against impoverishment; against poverty; children; children of Mary; girls; loss of parents; martyrs; rape victims; young people in general.

Things to Do:

  • Please visit this The Pilgrimage of Mercy: Tour of St. Maria Goretti's Major Relics for more information on St. Maria, in particular this article for a more detailed account of St. Maria Goretti's life and Alessandro Serenelli's conversion.
  • This saint's feast day is a wonderful launching point to teach our children about purity, chastity and modesty. Sex education should be taught by the parents with a Catholic approach. Young girls can use St. Maria as a model.
  • A highly recommended book is St. Maria Goretti: In Garments All Red by Rev. Godfrey Poage. Young teens to adult will enjoy this account of her life.

National Fried Chicken Day[5]


·         The bird gets the spotlight on Fried Chicken Day, and stomachs are rumbling already. Move over vegetarians, there’s a deep-fried chicken leg and breast coming this way!
·         To add more pizzazz to the day, coat the legendary southern food in spices and yell “Yeehaw!” Cover the chicken with a mixture of cayenne pepper, garlic powder and paprika to put the spring back in the step. A little hot sauce? Sure, let’s go all out! Serve the mouth-watering fried food with chicken gravy to up the yum-factor even more.

·         Pair the succulent bird with waffles for a classic combo. Or, why not make chicken the star of the show and add a tasty side dish? Lip-smacking sides include buttermilk biscuits, cold potato salad or coleslaw. With fried chicken on the plate, the taste is sure to taste clucking good!

Daily Devotions
·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         90 Days for our Nation, 54-day rosary-Day 51



[1] The Collegeville Bible Commentary
[4]https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2019-07-06

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