The Saints

Bl.-Teresa-St.-Pio

Your witness of love can convert your persecutors – The Feast of St. Stephen the Martyr

Your witness of love can convert your persecutors – The Feast of St. Stephen the Martyr

Reading 1 Acts 6:8-10; 7:54-59 Stephen, filled with grace and power, was working great wonders and signs among the people. Certain members of the so-called Synagogue of Freedmen, Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and people from Cilicia and Asia, came forward and debated with Stephen, but they could not withstand the wisdom and the spirit with which

St. Padre Pio, The Seraphim, and the Holy Eucharist – The Holy Angels with Msgr John Esseff

St. Padre Pio, The Seraphim, and the Holy Eucharist – The Holy Angels with Msgr John Esseff

On the Memorial of Saint Pius of Pietrelcina, Msgr. Esseff discusses his interaction with St. Pio in relation to the Holy Angels. He then explains the role of Holy Angels at the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, and in particular, the presence and witness of the Seraphim.

BKLSpecial2 – Enduring Love – The Grace of the Canonization with Msgr. John Esseff

BKLSpecial2 – Enduring Love – The Grace of the Canonization with Msgr. John Esseff

Having just returned from Rome, Msgr. Esseff reflects on his experience of the canonization of St. Teresa of Calcutta. He shares “The Touch of Love” which was a standout experience of the day, as well as the abiding presence of the saint, the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

BKLSpecial – The Canonization of St. Teresa of Calcutta

BKLSpecial – The Canonization of St. Teresa of Calcutta

Join Msgr. John Esseff as he reflects on his experiences with Mother Teresa on the eve of her canonization! Several of the stories he has not shared on any of his previous programs.

Rather than be “admirers” of Mother Teresa, Msgr. Esseff asks all of us to pray to become “imitators” of this little one of God’s children who has now become one of His great saints!

BKL#4 – Building a Kingdom of Love w/ Msgr. John Esseff – The Power of Baptism: a story of Bl. Mother Teresa, a princess, and a baby named Cecilia

BKL#4 – Building a Kingdom of Love w/ Msgr. John Esseff – The Power of Baptism: a story of Bl. Mother Teresa, a princess, and a baby named Cecilia

Msgr. Esseff reflects on the power of Christ given to us in our baptism.  He tells two poignant stories about Bl. Mother Teresa, a princess and a baby named Cecilia.  Do we appreciate the gift? Msgr. Esseff also addresses the fears and concerns grandparents have when their children fail to have their own children baptized.

True Interior Conversion…What it looks like in the life of St. Augustine and in others

True Interior Conversion…What it looks like in the life of St. Augustine and in others

Msgr. Esseff reflects on the interior movement of St. Augustine that led to his conversion and witness.  He also shares a powerful story of a man in a prison and his conversion.  The story takes a poignant twist at the end, one that exemplifies the power of conversion and forgiveness.  When our hearts are united

Divine Friendship – The Model of St. Martha

Divine Friendship – The Model of St. Martha

St. Martha is a particular favorite of Msgr. Esseff. He explores the profound experience of friendship that we can have with Jesus.    He shares a poignant personal experience to highlight this point. 1 John Chap 7-16a Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God

Sts. Anne and Joachim – the parents of Mary, the grandparents of Jesus

Sts. Anne and Joachim – the parents of Mary, the grandparents of Jesus

Msgr. Esseff reflects on what it must have been like to be the parents of the “Immaculate Conception”. Can you imagine their reaction to the events that would effect the Blessed Virgin Mary? What was the love that must have transpired between the Grandmother and the Grandfather of Jesus.

When have you encountered your “Lazarus”?

When have you encountered your “Lazarus”?

Gospel Lk 16:19-31 Jesus said to the Pharisees: “There was a rich man who dressed in purple garments and fine linen and dined sumptuously each day. And lying at his door was a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scraps that fell from the rich

St. John…”the other disciple whom Jesus loved”

St. John…”the other disciple whom Jesus loved”

Gospel JN 20:1A AND 2-8 On the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we do not know where they put him.” So Peter and the other disciple went

The Poor/Holy Souls and Purgatory

The Poor/Holy Souls and Purgatory

Reading 1 Wis 3:1-9 The souls of the just are in the hand of God, and no torment shall touch them. They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead; and their passing away was thought an affliction and their going forth from us, utter destruction. But they are in peace. For if

The Beauty of St. Therese and “The Little Way”

The Beauty of St. Therese and “The Little Way”

Msgr. Esseff reflects on the beauty of St. Therese, her family, and the “little way”. Gospel LK 9:57-62 As Jesus and his disciples were proceeding on their journey, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus answered him, “Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son

The Example of St. Peter Clavier

The Example of St. Peter Clavier

Reading 11 COR 6:1-11 Brothers and sisters: How can any one of you with a case against another dare to bring it to the unjust for judgment instead of to the holy ones? Do you not know that the holy ones will judge the world? If the world is to be judged by you, are

The Witness of Martyrdom – Yesterday and Today

The Witness of Martyrdom – Yesterday and Today

Gospel MK 6:17-29 Herod was the one who had John the Baptist arrested and bound in prison on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, whom he had married. John had said to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” Herodias harbored a grudge against him and wanted to

The Legacy of St. Charbel Makhluf and St Nimatullah Kassab

The Legacy of St. Charbel Makhluf and St Nimatullah Kassab

Msgr. Esseff shares with us the great leagacy of prayer and reform left to us by St Charbel Makhluf  St Nimatullah Youssef Kassab Al-Hardini (1808-1858) powerful saints for our times. Reading 1  JER 2:1-3, 7-8, 12-13 This word of the LORD came to me: Go, cry out this message for Jerusalem to hear! I remember the

St. Thomas – An Apostle for Our Time!

St. Thomas – An Apostle for Our Time!

Gospel JN 20:24-29 Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” But Thomas said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nailmarks and put my hand

St. Anthony, Family, Our Lady and so much more on Msgr. Esseff’s birthday

St. Anthony, Family, Our Lady and so much more on Msgr. Esseff’s birthday

June 13 is Msgr. Esseff’s birthday! He wishes to share special memories, stories and important reflections on St. Anthony, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and his own family.

Viva la Papa! – The Feast of The Chair of Peter

Viva la Papa! – The Feast of The Chair of Peter

Reading 1 1 PT 5:1-4 Beloved: I exhort the presbyters among you, as a fellow presbyter and witness to the sufferings of Christ and one who has a share in the glory to be revealed. Tend the flock of God in your midst, overseeing not by constraint but willingly, as God would have it, not

The Gift of Knowledge – The Charism of Wisdom – St. Thomas Aquinas

The Gift of Knowledge – The Charism of Wisdom – St. Thomas Aquinas

From the Gospel of Matthew: a Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, 2* saying, “The scribes and the Pharisees have taken their seat on the chair of Moses. 3Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example. For they preach but they do not

A Different Kind of King – The Witness of Ann Esseff Kelly

A Different Kind of King – The Witness of Ann Esseff Kelly

Reading 1 1 sm 18:6-9;19:1-7 When David and Saul approached (on David’s return after slaying the Philistine), women came out from each of the cities of Israel to meet King Saul, singing and dancing, with tambourines, joyful songs, and sistrums. The women played and sang: “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.”

The Feast of St. John, Apostle and Evangelist

The Feast of St. John, Apostle and Evangelist

Reading 1 1 Jn 1:1-4 Beloved: What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we looked upon and touched with our hands concerns the Word of life — for the life was made visible; we have seen it and testify to it and proclaim to you

The Saints are Happy – What is Heaven?

The Saints are Happy – What is Heaven?

Gospel Mt 5:1-12a When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain, and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him. He began to teach them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are

To Be a Witness – Memorial of Saints John de Brébeuf and Isaac Jogues

To Be a Witness – Memorial of Saints John de Brébeuf and Isaac Jogues

Gospel  LK 12:8-12 Jesus said to his disciples: “I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before others the Son of Man will acknowledge before the angels of God. But whoever denies me before others will be denied before the angels of God.“Everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but

St. Padre Pio Novena Day 9

St. Padre Pio Novena Day 9

Join Msgr. John Esseff, as he offers this novena in honor of St. Pio The entire novena can be found on the The St. Pio of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio) Discerning Hearts Page Day 9 From the writings of St. Pio: How fortunate we are to be slaves of this great God who submitted Himself to death

The Memorial of St. Padre Pio – a reflection from Msgr. Esseff

The Memorial of St. Padre Pio – a reflection from Msgr. Esseff

Msgr. Esseff reflects on the life and teachings of St. Padre Pio.  He shares personal stories from his relationship with St. Pio. Gospel      LK 8:16-18 Jesus said to the crowd: “No one who lights a lamp conceals it with a vessel or sets it under a bed; rather, he places it on a

St. Padre Pio Novena Day 8

St. Padre Pio Novena Day 8

Join Msgr. John Esseff, as he offers this novena in honor of St. Pio The entire novena can be found on the The St. Pio of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio) Discerning Hearts Page Day 8 From the writings of St. Pio: Is it possible that you are never satisfied with yourself?  Jesus loves you with a loving

St. Padre Pio Novena Day 7

St. Padre Pio Novena Day 7

Join Msgr. John Esseff, as he offers this novena in honor of St. Pio The entire novena can be found on the The St. Pio of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio) Discerning Hearts Page Day 7 From the writings of St. Pio: May the Grace and peace of the Holy Spirit always be at the center of your

St. Padre Pio Novena Day 6

St. Padre Pio Novena Day 6

Join Msgr. John Esseff, as he offers this novena in honor of St. Pio The entire novena can be found on the The St. Pio of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio) Discerning Hearts Page Day 6 From the writings of St. Pio: In the most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist, in this sacrament of Love, we have true

St. Padre Pio Novena Day 5

St. Padre Pio Novena Day 5

Join Msgr. John Esseff, as he offers this novena in honor of St. Pio Day 5 From the writings of St. Pio: St Therese of the Child Jesus used to say, “I don’t want to choose either to die or to live, but let Jesus do as He likes with me.”  I see clearly that

St. Padre Pio Novena Day 4

St. Padre Pio Novena Day 4

Join Msgr. John Esseff, as he offers this novena in honor of St. Pio Day 4 From the writings of St. Pio: I often think that there is only one thing in this base world which can soothe the most acute pain which pierces the heart when we see ourselves far from God, the source

St. Padre Pio Novena Day 3

St. Padre Pio Novena Day 3

Join Msgr. John Esseff, as he offers this novena in honor of St. Pio Day 3 From the writings of St. Pio: I am greatly comforted and very content in Jesus’ company, and who could describe the help it is to me to have Him continually by my side?  This company makes me much more

St. Padre Pio Novena Day 2

St. Padre Pio Novena Day 2

Join Msgr. John Esseff, as he offers this novena in honor of St. Pio Day 2 From the writings of St. Pio: I implore you to be faithful and humble and always to keep the great Mother of God before your mental gaze, she who humbled herself more profoundly the more she was exalted. Never,

St. Padre Pio Novena Day 1

St. Padre Pio Novena Day 1

Day 1 From the writings of St. Pio: Jesus Keeps nothing for Himself of what is done for love of Him, and He will repay us very lavishly,  Don’t let us make our happiness depend on enjoying wonderful health, or else we should be just like those foolish worldly people to whom it is not

The Feast of St. Augustine

The Feast of St. Augustine

From the First letter of John Chapter 4: 7* Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God.8Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love.9In this way the love of God was revealed to us: God sent his only Son

The Feast of St. Monica

The Feast of St. Monica

The power of prayer and the scriptures for today: Gospel    MT 23:23-26 Jesus said: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You pay tithes of mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier things of the law: judgment and mercy and fidelity. But these you should have done, without neglecting the

The Need for the Moral Law – on the feast of St. Alphonsus Liguori

The Need for the Moral Law – on the feast of St. Alphonsus Liguori

GospelMT 13:47-53 Jesus said to the disciples: “The Kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea, which collects fish of every kind. When it is full they haul it ashore and sit down to put what is good into buckets. What is bad they throw away. Thus it will be at the

The Feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola

The Feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola

Msgr. Esseff shares his thoughts about the teachings on prayer and discernment as taught by St. Ignatius of Loyola GospelMT 13:44-46 Jesus said to his disciples: “The Kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he

St. Charbel Makhlouf and the importance of becoming a saint!

St. Charbel Makhlouf and the importance of becoming a saint!

Msgr. Esseff shares stories of his time in Lebanon and his experience surrounding the great St. Charbel Makhlouf.  He also reflects on today’s reading and the importance of depending on God. Reading 1 EX 16:1-5, 9-15 The children of Israel set out from Elim, and came into the desert of Sin, which is between Elim

Fear of the Lord – The Gifts of the Holy Spirit – What Sts. Maria Goretti and Thomas More have in common

Fear of the Lord – The Gifts of the Holy Spirit – What Sts. Maria Goretti and Thomas More have in common

AMAZING GRACE Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, That saved a wretch like me…. I once was lost but now am found, Was blind, but now, I see. T’was Grace that taught… my heart to fear. And Grace, my fears relieved. How precious did that Grace appear… the hour I first believed. Through many dangers,

The Feast of St. Joseph the Worker

The Feast of St. Joseph the Worker

Reading 1 ACTS 15:1-6 Some who had come down from Judea were instructing the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised according to the Mosaic practice, you cannot be saved.” Because there arose no little dissension and debate by Paul and Barnabas with them, it was decided that Paul, Barnabas, and some of the others should go up

The Feast of St. Joseph

The Feast of St. Joseph

Gospel MT 1:16, 18-21, 24A Jacob was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary. Of her was born Jesus who is called the Christ. Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the

St. Agatha and a girl named Maria – What it is to be a “witness” today

St. Agatha and a girl named Maria – What it is to be a “witness” today

Msgr. Esseff discusses today’s readings and reflects on the witness of St. Agatha and a young girl he met by the name of Maria. Reading 1 Heb 12:1-4 Brothers and sisters: Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us and

How is true holiness attained? The example of Father Walter Ciszek

How is true holiness attained? The example of Father Walter Ciszek

Msgr.Esseff discusses a Scripture passage that is very close to his heart…it comes from the first letter of John.  What is our true identity?  Do we truly appreciate what it is to sin? We cannot achieve holiness on our own (we will fail!).  It is only through Jesus, with Jesus, and in Jesus that holiness

The Witness of St. Stephen the Martyr and Fr. Nicolas Kluiters

The Witness of St. Stephen the Martyr and Fr. Nicolas Kluiters

Msgr. Esseff, on the feast of St. Stephen the Martyr, shares the story of his friend Fr. Nicolas Kluiters S.J., who served the Church in Lebanon.  He discusses what it means to be a martyr in the past and what it looks like today. From JESUIT MARTYRS, In the Service of the Arab Orient (1975-1989)

The feast of Saint Lucy…a celebration of “light” – Thursday, Second Week of Advent

The feast of Saint Lucy…a celebration of “light” – Thursday, Second Week of Advent

Msgr. Esseff discusses a saint close to his heart…St. Lucy.  Her name means “Light”.  He speaks of her special patronage for those who have vision problems.  He then reflects upon on the first reading from today’s celebration of the mass Is 41:13-20 I am the LORD, your God, who grasp your right hand; It is

St. Therese, the Little Flower

St. Therese, the Little Flower

Msgr. Esseff reflects on the life and prayer of St. Therese, the Little Flower.  He speaks of her simplicity of heart and great humility in her “little way”.  He shares his experience of his own mother’s prayer and that of Bl. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who both loved and prayed with the “Little Flower”.  

St. Padre Pio and the Theology of the Body

St. Padre Pio and the Theology of the Body

Msgr. Esseff shares some of his insights on an article he is preparing on Padre Pio and the Theology of the Body.  There’s a fascinating connection that can be made.  He begins by offering a detailed sharing of his first encounters with St. Pio and then discusses how his stigmata and gifts relate to our

The Journey to the Inner Self and St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein) with Msgr. John Esseff

The Journey to the Inner Self and St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein) with Msgr. John Esseff

Msgr. Esseff powerfully reflects on the journey to the inner heart and St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein).  He examines the writings of the prophet Jeremiah and St. Matthew and what it means to have true union with God.  It is exemplified in the life and journey Edith Stein.  It will all lead to the heart

Reflections from Msgr. John Esseff – “God is Love” the legacy of St. John the Apostle

Reflections from Msgr. John Esseff – “God is Love” the legacy of St. John the Apostle

 Msgr. Esseff, on this very special feast day, discusses St. John the Evangelist.  He recalls the message found in the Gospel of St. John, his letters, and stories from St. Polycarp.  Msgr. Esseff discusses the relationship of Our Lady with John, and the gift Jesus made of her to John and to us all.  The

St. Padre Pio and bilocation – Msgr. Esseff describes his first encounter

St. Padre Pio and bilocation – Msgr. Esseff describes his first encounter

Msgr. Esseff describes his first encounter with Padre Pio at Mary Pyle’s house in San Giovanni Rotondo in 1959 and bearing witness to the saint’s charism of bilocation. He talks of becoming one of Padre Pio’s spiritual children and directee. Msgr. then discusses the experience of being present at one of St. Pio’s masses.

Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta: reflections by Msgr. Esseff

Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta: reflections by Msgr. Esseff

Msgr. Esseff reflects on Blessed Mother Teresa whom he met in 1984 in Beruit, Lebanon. Msgr. Esseff worked alongside Blessed Mother Teresa in Calcutta, Lebanon, West Africa, Haiti and elsewhere and would go on to serve as a spiritual director and confessor for Mother Teresa and her sisters.

Prayers to St. Pio – Mp3 audio prayers offered Msgr. Esseff

Prayers to St. Pio – Mp3 audio prayers offered Msgr. Esseff

Prayer for Healing Beloved Padre Pio, Today I come to add my prayer to the thousands of prayers offered to thee every day by those who love and venerate thee. They ask for cures and healings, earthly and spiritual blessings, and peace for body and mind. And because of thy friendship with the Lord, He

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