Spiritual Talk – Fr Ho talks about St Josemaria Escrivá

St. Josemaría Escrivá, the founder of Opus Dei, loved the Eucharist and the Virgin Mary, and exhorted people to live out their vocations to holiness and evangelization. Born in 1902 in Spain, he was baptized four days later; his name, Josemaría, honours St. Joseph and the Virgin Mary. Aged 18 months, he fell gravely ill and the doctor said he was on the verge of death. His mother prayed to Mary, pledging that if her son was healed, she would bring him to the pilgrimage site of Our Lady of Torreciudad. Little Josemaría recovered quickly and when the doctor returned, thinking to ask the parents about the baby’s time of death, he was shocked to find the baby alive and playing. True to their promise, his parents brought him to Torreciudad, which had housed a statue of Our Lady since the 11th century. When St. Josemaría was an elderly priest, he made the treacherous journey back to Torreciudad to thank the Virgin Mary for her healing and donated his surplus earnings to build a chapel there. In 1970, since the statue was temporarily moved to Madrid, St. Josemaría finally saw the statue again. He saw himself as a pitiful person, but he whole-heartedly loved the Virgin Mary. St. Josemaría Escrivá died in 1975, and the Shrine of Torreciudad was completed not long after.
Publish date: 2018 - 11 - 17


Joyful Servant of the Poor: Fr. Ho Lung

Fr. Richard Ho Lung is a Chinese priest from Jamaica. He is the first Chinese to have founded a religious order. More than three decades ago, together with two other priests who shared his vision, he started living among the poor, ministering to them. Fountain of Grace invited him to share how he founded the Missionaries of the Poor, as well as his spiritual journey of serving the poor.
Publish date: 2018 - 11 - 10


Spiritual Talk – Fr Ho talks about St. Dominic Savio

St. Dominic Savio was born in Italy in 1842, the second of ten children. He learned to serve Mass at age five and received First Communion at age seven, despite the customary age being twelve, since he grasped catechesis so well. If he arrived at church before it was unlocked, he would kneel outside the doors in prayer. On the day of his First Communion, he wrote down some promises: (1) to go to Confession and receive the Eucharist as often as possible, (2) to sanctify Sundays and feast days, (3) to be friends with Jesus and Mary, and (4) to rather die than sin. In 1854, 12-year-old Dominic met 38-year-old St. John Bosco and joined his Oratory. That year, Pope Pius IX defined the dogma of the Immaculate Conception and Dominic renewed his First Communion vows before a statue of Mary. He loved to teach catechesis and once, a boy retorted, “Why are you doing this?” Dominic replied, “Because Jesus died for us, and hence we are all brothers and ought to love each others’ souls.” At New Year, he received many prizes and over the holidays, he gifted them to children who had answered correctly at catechesis class or gone to Mass willingly. Every day, he would bring children to adore the Blessed Sacrament. In order to increase spiritual fruits and retain his zeal, he would keep a series of dedications and prayer intentions: Sundays were for the Holy Trinity, Monday for spiritual benefactors, Tuesdays for his patron St. Dominic and his guardian angel, Wednesdays for the conversion of sinners and for Our Lady of Sorrows, Thursdays for the souls in purgatory, Fridays for the Passion of Jesus, and Saturdays for Mary and her protection at the hour of death. In 1857, 14-year-old Dominic Savio died – his last words were “Oh, what wonderful things I see …”.
Publish date: 2018 - 11 - 10


Where Faith and Art Cross Paths

Irene held her first solo art exhibition in 2017. Behind this exhibition lies a dream that Irene spent ten years to actualize. Through making abstract art, Irene gets closer to God.
Publish date: 2018 - 11 - 3


Spiritual Talk – Fr Ho talks about St. Geltrude Caterina Comensoli

St. Geltrude Caterina Comensoli was born in Italy in 1847 and received her First Communion at age 7, experiencing such a heavenly feeling that she henceforth became more contemplative at the thought of Jesus. Her motto, “Jesus, loving You and making others love You” became the programme of her life. At age 15, she entered the Sisters of Charity, where everyone had high hopes for her, but she fell seriously ill and was dismissed from the convent. To earn a living, she became a domestic servant. In 1878, she made her perpetual vow of chastity and maintained her prayer life as a servant, even teaching catechesis to local children. Freed from family responsibilities after her parents died, she desired to start a religious institution devoted to the adoration of the Eucharist. When her bishop visited the Countess Fé-Vitali, her employer, and heard her request, he agreed. In 1880, Geltrude went to visit Pope Leo XIII in Rome with the Countess and obtained the support of the Pope, who invited her to educate young female factory workers as well. In 1882, she formed the Congregation of the Sacramentine Sisters of Bergamo, and two years later took the name Sister Geltrude of the Blessed Sacrament. After overcoming innumerable difficulties, the Institute received canonoical recognition. The nuns' mission was to promote 24-hour-old Perpetual Adoration of the Eucharist and leave the convent to help the needy. In 1903, St. Geltrude died and was canonized in 2009.
Publish date: 2018 - 11 - 3


Spiritual Talk – Fr Ho talks about St. Peter Julian Eymard

St. Peter Julian Eymard (1811-1868) went to Eucharistic Adoration daily with his mother as a child, and one of his first memories were of the golden monstrance. Once, he heard from a Carmelite that friends never pass one another without speaking. Peter Julian felt it rude to pass by the Blessed Sacrament without stopping to pray. His path to the priesthood was not easy – his father was only convinced to give his consent after hearing a preacher of the Oblates of Mary. Peter Julian found Latin difficult and fell gravely sick after studying too hard. He prayed to God that he be able to offer at least one Mass as a priest before dying. God let him recover and in 1834, he was ordained a priest. He was known for spending as much time in church as in the rectory. He obtained permission from his bishop to become a religious in the Marist congregation and eventually served as provincial. He promoted Eucharistic devotions with success, especially the Forty Hour Devotion. Fr. Eymard knew that every mystery of the Faith had a congregation dedicated to it, except for the Real Presence. With the permission of the Pope and his Marist superiors, he founded a new congregation to adore the Blessed Sacrament. The order faced many problems, but Fr. Eymard had faith that if this was God’s work, it would be done, and the congregation began to flourish with orders for male and female religious, parish priests, and lay people. Fr. Eymard died in 1869, was beatified in 1925, and was canonized in 1962.
Publish date: 2018 - 10 - 27


Spiritual Talk – Fr Ho talks about Blessed Manuel González García

Blessed Manuel González García was born in Spain in 1877, the fourth of five children, to a well-off family. He loved to make reparations for Jesus, forgotten in the Eucharist, and entered the seminary with his parents’ support, but he had to work to support himself. In 1901, he was ordained a priest and in his newly-appointed church was told about the poor state of the administration. Manuel prayed before the Tabernacle and felt Jesus tell him about the many issues he would face, and the even more things demanded of him. Three years later, Blessed Manuel was transferred to another parish to combat the indifference of the parishioners. In 1910, he invited a group of women to imitate Mary and the other few companions of Jesus at His Crucifixion, and console Jesus in the Tabernacle. Over time, the group grew into male and female religious orders. In 1915, he was consecrated a titular bishop and was consecrated a diocesan bishop of Málaga in 1920. He built many diocesan schools and seminaries. In 1931, he was attacked by revolutionaries who lit his episcopal palace on fire and was moved in 1932 to administer from Madrid until 1935, when he was appointed bishop to another diocese. His wrote about prayer, the Eucharist, and pastoral work. In later years, his health worsened but through patience and sacrifice maintained his joyful spirit. In 1940, he died and requested to be buried in the Cathedral. His wish was: “I ask to be buried next to a tabernacle, so that my bones, after death, as my tongue and my pen in life, are saying to those who pass: there is Jesus! There it is! Do not leave him abandoned!” In life and death, Blessed Manuel brought people before the Tabernacle to be united with God.
Publish date: 2018 - 10 - 20


Spiritual Talk – Fr Ho talks about Pope Pius X

Pope Pius X was known as the Pope of the Eucharist for his devotion to the Eucharist, and his promotion of proper Confession to dispose people to receive the Eucharist. Born in 1835 as the second of ten children, his father was a mailman and his mother worked part-time mending clothes. Aged ten, he felt a religious calling and he was ordained in 1858. He frequently visited his parishioner’s homes and taught them catechesis. In 1884, he was consecrated Bishop of Mantua, wrote “The Catechism of St. Pius X” in a question-answer format, and built schools. As bishop he visited his parishes, listening to Confessions and altar serving. In 1893, he was consecrated Patriarch of Venice and in 1903, elected Pope, taking the motto “To restore all things in Christ”. Once, he encountered a boy who asked him, “Bishop, sir, why do you not give Jesus to me?” He was moved, and as Pope, he reduced the minimum age of First Communion to seven, having seen the boy able to differentiate the Body of Christ from ordinary bread. In his words, “Holy Communion is the shortest and safest way to Heaven”.
Publish date: 2018 - 10 - 13


Spiritual Talk – Fr Ho talks about Sister Consolata Betrone

Sister Consolata Betrone was born in Italy in 1903; when she was 13, she devoutly prayed, “My God, I love You!” and consecrated herself to the Virgin Mary. That day, after receiving the Eucharist, she heard a voice, “Are you willing to belong to me?” She tearfully replied, “I am,” and offered herself totally to Jesus. Over time, she felt God’s calling grow stronger but still felt doubts and spiritual dryness. Aged 21, she realized her calling to the religious life and, after being rejected three times by different convents, was accepted to the Capuchin Order’s Convent of the Poor Clares in 1929. In 1934, she professed her religious vows and was assigned to work as a portress, kitchen helper, secretary, and nurse. At this time, Jesus revealed a special ejaculatory prayer to her: “Jesus, Mary, I love you! Save souls!” He explained that the “souls” included those in Purgatory, those in the Church Militant, even those of atheists. Each prayer, when said all day long, would save one soul. Jesus also told her, “The souls I love most are those who love Me most.” And again, “The more you love Me, the happier you will be.” He told Sister Consolata, “Do not limit your trust in Me, and I will not limit My graces to you. Once suffering is accepted with love, it is no longer suffering, but joy.” In 1945, Sister Consolata fell sick and passed away – she had dedicated her life to praying for sinners.
Publish date: 2018 - 10 - 6

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The Spirit of Morning Star – The Story of Escola Stella Matutina (2)

Escola Stella Matutina (Morning Star School), a school for girls from underprivileged families in Macau, was started by Sr Rozalia Ellerik, FMM. The school ran from 1953 to 1975. For over forty years since then, students still have not forgotten their school. They hold alumni reunions and, together with teachers and nuns that taught them, reminisce about the good old days at the school. The spirit of the school is one that is based on the love of Christ.
Publish date: 2018 - 9 - 29


Spiritual Talk – Fr Ho talks about Marie Rose Ferron (II)

Marie Rose Ferron used the pains of her illness to pray for the salvation of souls. Once, when asked about her pain, she said, “Use a patient and pure heart to grind up your suffering. The fire of your love with naturally burn it.” Physically, “Little Rose” suffered paralysis. Spiritually, she suffered darkness and humiliation. Many misunderstood her and said mean things to her. She said to her siblings once, “Jesus was dragged in mud. I do not want to be better treated than Him.” One person asked her, “How is it that Jesus whom you love so much permits you to suffer?” But Little Rose replied, “The caresses of Heaven are not like those of earth.” Once, a woman saw Little Rose and cried out, “Poor girl, you are gravely ill!” But Little Rose said, “Do not cry for me, you are even more ill – you have left Jesus for 35 years now!” The woman cried again and repented. At age 22, Little Rose fell gravely ill after eating some bread, and from then on could not eat solid food. In 1931, the Holy Wounds of Christ began to appear on Little Rose’s body – the Five Wounds, those of the Crown of Thorns, those of the Scourging, and those on the shoulder. She would also experience ecstasies on Fridays and sing hymns and pray for the reparation of sins. In 1936, Little Rose died; around 15,000 people came to pay respects, and 4,000 attended her funeral Mass. She once wrote, “I am willing to offer myself as a sacrifice, so as to live in eternal love. O my Jesus, I beseech You, make me a martyr for Your love.”
Publish date: 2018 - 9 - 29


Morning Star – The Story of Escola Stella Matutina (1)

In the 1950s, a Polish nun, Sr Rozalia Ellerik, FMM, came to Macau to start a school for girls from underprivileged families. Throughout the years, Escola Stella Matutina (Morning Star School) survived entirely on donations solicited by Sr. Rozalia. From humble beginnings, using straw sheds as classrooms, converting pig pens into dormitories, and relying on food aids, Escola Stella Matutina gradually transformed into a school with proper facilities, enjoying a good reputation.
Publish date: 2018 - 9 - 22