Thursday, 31 May 2012

COMMENTS Facebook Gabrielle Bossis

----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Robert - - -
To: Donald - - -
Sent: Wednesday, 30 May 2012, 8:08
Subject: he and i

Dear Father Donald.

My book arrived yesterday from Canada no less.  
I am finding it so hard to realise that my Lord wants me to talk with him on every aspect of my life.
I think it’s because Ii was brought up in the Catholic way of praying if that makes sense.
But so many times in the chapters I have read I see so much of my life, in particular when he says to Gabrielle whilst she is in a station "You are the only one praying here"
Ii have had times when I felt this.
I thank you from my heart for bringing this book to me. I believe all things are mapped out for us and we have to recognise the gift,
Please pray for me I will keep you up to date with my progress.

May my Lord keep you close to him, Father.


Dear, Robert,
Your Email is a very powerfully meaningful letter.
Thank you so much.
And it is so joyfully on the wavelength of Gabrielle echoing of the presence of the Lord. 
You are fortunate to obtain the "YOU AND i" book from Canada.
It is amazing to find the responses to Gabrielle words are endless in FACEBOOK. (The Facebook security conscience went to lengths to reactivate my connection). 
Also so many Links in Languages. I found a Polish Website giving translations better than from the French Biography.

It will be appreciated to share your Response in Blogspot.

God bless you.
fr, Donald

Sancta Maria Abbey:  
Blogspot :
----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Fr Donald
Sent: Tuesday, 29 May 2012, 21:08
Subject: [Dom Donald's Blog] YOU AND i - Montmartre

You and I 
by Gabrielle Bossis
p.255 1947 Part Two 
April 25, 1947 Montmartre.
A light bulb was missing in front of the Blessed Sacrament. "Lord, let my heart burn before You there in its place."
“To burn would not be enough. You must be consumed. I mean you must burn right out. This is what I did for you, for all of you. Don't you feel the desire to do the same for Me? This is what it means to simplify everything in you to a single principle, a single élan towards your great Friend. Isn't this restful? Isn't it your goal? And don't you find that this changes your entire being? You can see that My call is blessing, can't you, and that your response will bring you joy?
O answer! Answer unceasingly. Your strength will increase and you will give it to others so that it will go from soul to soul as a torch is passed from hand to hand. The living spring is your Christ. Drink at the very fountainhead, for the closer you come to the fountain-head the more your cup will run over.
Oh, My little girl, don't seek Me far from yourself.
You have Me right within you as a candle has its flame.”


The Embrace of Elizabeth
and the Virgin Mary

Thursday, 31 May 2012  

The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary - Feast  

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 1:39-56.  During those days Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah. 

May 31, 2012 

Collect: Almighty ever-living God, who, while the Blessed Virgin Mary was carrying your Son in her womb, inspired her to visit Elizabeth, grant us, we pray, that, faithful to the promptings of the Spirit, we may magnify your greatness with the Virgin Mary at all times. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. 

    The Visitation
    And Mary rising up in those days went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda. [Lk. 1:39]
    How lyrical that is, the opening sentence of St. Luke's description of the Visitation. We can feel the rush of warmth and kindness, the sudden urgency of love that sent that girl hurrying over the hills. "Those days" in which she rose on that impulse were the days in which Christ was being formed in her, the impulse was his impulse.
    Many women, if they were expecting a child, would refuse to hurry over the hills on a visit of pure kindness. They would say they had a duty to themselves and to their unborn child which came before anything or anyone else.
    The Mother of God considered no such thing. Elizabeth was going to have a child, too, and although Mary's own child was God, she could not forget Elizabeth's need—almost incredible to us, but characteristic of her.
    She greeted her cousin Elizabeth, and at the sound of her voice, John quickened in his mother's womb and leapt for joy.
    I am come, said Christ, that they may have life and may have it more abundantly. [Jn. 10, 10] Even before He was born His presence gave life.
    With what piercing shoots of joy does this story of Christ unfold! First the conception of a child in a child's heart, and then this first salutation, an infant leaping for joy in his mother's womb, knowing the hidden Christ and leaping into life.
    How did Elizabeth herself know what had happened to Our Lady? What made her realize that this little cousin who was so familiar to her was the mother of her God?
    She knew it by the child within herself, by the quickening into life which was a leap of joy.
    If we practice this contemplation taught and shown to us by Our Lady, we will find that our experience is like hers.
    If Christ is growing in us, if we are at peace, recollected, because we know that however insignificant our life seems to be, from it He is forming Himself; if we go with eager wills, "in haste," to wherever our circumstances compel us, because we believe that He desires to be in that place, we shall find that we are driven more and more to act on the impulse of His love.
    And the answer we shall get from others to those impulses will be an awakening into life, or the leap into joy of the already wakened life within them.
    Excerpted from The Reed of God, Caryll Houselander
    Patronage: St. Elizabeth: Expectant mothers.
    Symbols: St. Elizabeth or Elisabeth: Pregnant woman saluting the Virgin; Elderly woman holding St. John Baptist; huge rock with a doorway in it; in company with St. Zachary.
    St. Zacharias or Zachary: Priest's robes; thurible; altar; angel; lighted taper; Phyrgian helmet.   

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

COMMENT: Pentecost Birthday Cistercian Saint

Dear Mary,  
Thanks for the celebrations of your Birth Day.
Being so observant, you remind me of the new Cistercian, St. Raphael, writing in DGO.
and the association with the Martyrs. 
It was the day of the English Martyrs and so Br. Raphael's reference to the English. 
After the excepts is the picture of 1964 book "To Know How toWait", and I will add the description on the back cover.
Reviews of reviews thanks.
Yours ...

----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Mary . . ,
To: Donald . . .
Sent: Wednesday, 30 May 2012, 4:44
Subject: Thanks

Dear Donald ...,
Many thanks for the birthday greetings and prayers and for Fr. Raymond's lovely homilyfor Pentecost.
- - -
I read some excerpts from the writings of St. Br. Raphael, your Spanish brother In the DGO commentary for May 3rd.  His beautiful soul shone through and what an inspiration for all, especially our Youth  
The interest in the monks of Tibhirine and an appreciation of their heroic love of God and love of neighbour, it seems, continues to grow, as their lives touch hearts and  inspire us to greater fidelity , renewed faith, increased gratitude and love to our God who can truly bring us to be that person He dreamed we could become in following Jesus and giving our all. 
Happy and blessed feast of the Visitation (one of my favourite feasts) to you and all the dear monks.
Kindest regards also to .. .
And now dinner gong is about to go,so I will come to a close.
Lots of love and prayers,
Mary fmm

Friday of the Fourth week of Easter

Saint(s) of the day : The English Martyrs

See commentary below or click here
Saint Raphael Arnaiz Baron : 
"So that where I am you also may be"  

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 14:1-6.
Jesus said to his disciples: «Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me.
In my Father's house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be.
Where (I) am going you know the way."
Thomas said to him, "Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?"
Jesus said to him, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Commentary of the day : 
Saint Raphael Arnaiz Baron (1911-1938), a Spanish Trappist monk 
Spiritual writings, 12/04/1938 
"So that where I am you also may be"
If the world only knew what it means to love God, even just a little, it would love its brothers and sisters too. When we love Jesus, when we love Christ, we necessarily love what he loves. Didn't he die for love of us?
For, by transforming our hearts into the heart of Christ, we feel and perceive its effects, and the greatest of these is love: love of the Father's will, love towards all who suffer, who are weary, the brother who is far away, whether he be English, Japanese or a monk, love for Mary.
In any case, who can understand the love of Christ? No one. Yet there are some people who possess a few little sparks, very hidden, very silently, and without the world knowing it.

Oh my Jesus, how good you are! You do everything so wonderfully well. You show me the way and you show me the end.
The way is your sweet cross, sacrifice, self-renunciation, sometimes the bloody battle that ends up in tears on Calvary or in the Garden of Olives. The way, Lord, is to be the last, the sick one, the poor one... But never mind! To the contrary!... These renunciations are a pleasure when they stir up charity, faith, hope in the soul. This is how you transform thorns into roses.

And the end? You are the end, and nothing else but you. The end is to have eternal possession of you in heaven, together with Mary, with all the angels and saints. But this will be up above, in heaven. And to encourage people who are wretched, weak, fearful like me, you sometimes make yourself known in the heart and say: «What are you looking for? What do you want? Who are you calling? Look, see what I am. I am the Truth and the Life»...

Then, Lord, you fill the souls of your servants with inexpressible sweetness that we ponder in silence and hardly venture to explain. O my Jesus, how much I love you in spite of what I am. And the more poor and miserable I am, the more I love you. I will always love you; I will hold you tight and never let you go: I don't know how else to say it.

Saint (Fray) Raphael ocso Spain
Translated by :MARTIN MITCHELL.
SANDS & CO Glasgow1964

RAFAEL ARNAIZ Y BARON was born in Burgos on 9th April, 1911. After taking his degree in Oviedo he entered the School of Architecture in Madrid. On 15th January, 1934 he was admitted into the Trappist Monastery of San Isidro de Duenas, Venta de Banos (Palencia), which owing to ill health, he several times left and re-entered, dying there in the spring of 1938.
His writing presents something unique in piety and in mysticism, bringing a beneficial disquiet to every kind of soul. Those who read this selection of Brother Rafael's thoughts compiled by a Cistercian, cannot fail to doubt the truth of these words.
Today when the trend of religious thought among enquiring laymen is towards the Contemplative Orders, and is becoming increasingly influenced by the Cistercians, this book, with its emphasis on self-abnegation as an antidote to the prevalent world unrest, and "waiting on God" as necessary for the attainment of peace of soul, will bring a salutary feeling of divine discontent. Here is revealed, and with the utmost humility and simplicity, the intimate meditations of a young Spanish Trappist.
By those who know nothing of the Spanish soul, the todo o nada of its mystics, To Know How to Wait may not be understood fully. Cynical critics may dismiss as masochistic the author's insistence on suffering for the love of God, or may describe his writing as indicative of some other pathological condition. But by the reader. who humbles himself as Brother Rafael did, this little book will be recognized for what it is, the work of an enlightened man Whose one desire is ultimate union with Christ. His sanctity was such that the Cause for his Beatification is proceeding.
Edit: Brother Rapheal Arnaiz Baron
was cononized as Saint Rahael
at the St. Peter Piaza, Vatican
on Sunday October 11, 2009
+ + +  

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

YOU AND i - Montmartre

You and I 
by Gabrielle Bossis
p.255 1947 Part Two 
April 25, 1947 - Montmartre.

A light bulb was missing in front of the Blessed Sacrament. "Lord, let my heart burn before You there in its place."

“To burn would not be enough. You must be consumed. I mean you must burn right out. This is what I did for you, for all of you. Don't you feel the desire to do the same for Me? This is what it means to simplify everything in you to a single principle, a single élan towards your great Friend. Isn't this restful? Isn't it your goal? And don't you find that this changes your entire being? You can see that My call is blessing, can't you, and that your response will bring you joy?

O answer! Answer unceasingly. Your strength will increase and you will give it to others so that it will go from soul to soul as a torch is passed from hand to hand. The living spring is your Christ. Drink at the very fountainhead, for the closer you come to the fountain-head the more your cup will run over.
Oh, My little girl, don't seek Me far from yourself.

You have Me right within you as a candle has its flame.”

Monday, 28 May 2012

Pentecost 'the human spirit endowed with grace'

Pentecost Sunday - Solemnity - Year B

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 15:26-27.16:12-15.
When the Advocate comes whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth that proceeds from the Father, he will testify to me.
And you also testify, because you have been with me from the beginning.
I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now.
But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth. He will not speak on his own, but he will speak what he hears, and will declare to you the things that are coming.
He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you.
Everything that the Father has is mine; for this reason I told you that he will take from what is mine and declare it to you. 

----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Raymond - - -
- - -
 Monday, 28 May 2012, 11:28
Subject: Fw: Pentecost Homily and Pictures

at Nubraw Abbey
Pentecost Sunday May 27th 2012
It was the celebration of the Knights Templar at Nunraw, for their Annual Pentecost Liturgy.  Dom Raymond, Abbot OCSO Emeritus, presided for the homily and time of silence and reflection.
The Knights mustered outside the Abbey Church, in the glorious  sunshine of the day. Through the recessional, the Templar families were escorted through retiral banners.  
Fr. Raymond, in the Homilywas promted by the occsion,    "Whenever Pentecost comes along it always reminds me of a little girl . . . "


Whenever Pentecost comes along it always reminds me of a little girl of  about four years of age who once visited the guest house with her mother.  They were sitting having a cup of tea and as I approached them the Mother suddenly said to me: "Father, Leah wants to know who the Holy Ghost is, will you tell  her?"  As you can imagine I was rather nonplussed.  How can you explain to a four year old who the Holy Spirit is?   However, the angels came to my aid and I found myself saying:  "Leah, when you grow up you will be a very beautiful young lady and one day you will meet a handsome young man and you will so want him to offer you his heart and you will give him your heart.  Well that's what it is like when God gives us his Holy Spirit.  When God gives us his Holy Spirit he gives us his heart, and he very much wants us to give him our hearts."  I thought that my guardian angel had just given me a bit of brilliant inspiration there! But the look on Leah's face said something different.  She pouted her little lips and said somewhat fearfully: "I don't want to give my heart to anybody!"
So, from inspiration I passed immediately to deflation and disappointment.  But that wasn't to be the end of it!
A long time afterwards I happened to meet Leah's Mother in the Guest House again and I was delighted to hear her tell me that Leah would sometimes come to her and say: "What was it that Fr Raymond said about the Holy Spirit?"  So something seems to have stuck;  a seed was planted in her little mind and heart that would surely bear fruit some day.  Please God. 
The Holy Spirit seems to so many people to be the most remote and mysterious of the three Persons of the Blessed Trinity.  When we think of the other two Persons of the Blessed Trinity they seem to be so much more understandable.  We all know what we mean when we call the First Person of the Blessed Trinity our Father; it seems so natural.  We all know something of what it is to have a father.   And when it comes to the second Person of the Blessed Trinity then who could be more understandable and approachable than Jesus, the Word made Flesh.  But the idea of God the Holy Spirit remains such a mystery to so many.  In fact we can be tempted to say:  Why did God have to reveal his Trinity at all?  Would it not have made things so much simpler for us if He hadn’t told us in this world at all?  And then we could have found out when we reached heaven without all the complications in this life of having to believe in a mysterious Trinity.   
But TO get back to the Holy Spirit.  There is a sense in which, far from being the most remote and unintelligible of  the Three Divine Persons, the Holy Spirit is in a way the closest of them to us and the one we can share our lives with the most intimately.
He the one who, not only shares our most intimate feelings and hopes and desires, but who stirs them up within us and creates all that is good and beautiful within us.  The Spirit is Gods love for us at work within us.
This may sound very beautiful but also a bit theoretical and remo te from everyday experience.  But that is only because we forget to live our everyday experiences in communion with God. God is always as close to us as we dare to believe He is.  This is particularly true of recognising his Holy Spirit working within us. 

Let’s take a couple of practical examples: 
First, an example of how he speaks to us:  We have all experienced certain moments in life when a sense of peace comes over us, a peace that is almost tangible. (It may be as we sit comfortably by our fireside after the days work.  It may be a quiet moment among the beauties of nature for instance or any one of a thousand different situations.  But, if at such moments we recall the inspired verse of the psalms: “I will hear what the Lord God has to say: A voice that speaks of Peace.”  Then we will realise where that peace comes from, it is the voice of the Spirit in our hearts saying “Peace be with you”.  And, of course God’s word is creative and effective.  It creates what is says.  And God is always speaking that word to us, but we don’t always listen.  We don’t always give ourselves the chance to hear because our minds are so busy with other things.
Then another way the Spirit speaks in our hearts is the way he invites us to joy.  Joy is one of the fruits of the Spirit.  He is like a little boy for example walking along the shore at the sea-side with us saying look at the sea, look at the waves, look at the yachts in the wind… look at this look at that.   There are so many wonderful and beautiful things around us and so many wonderful people we meet each day.  The Spirit urges us to rejoice in them all as being his gifts to us:  The fullness and richness of Life, pressed down and shaken together and running over.
He is like a very good friend who so much wants us to share in his own joy in all the good things he has made.  “God delights to be at play with the children of men” as the Book of Wisdom tells us.
Finally I would like to try to describe the difference between our communion with the Spirit of God within us and our communion with any other human being no matter how close the love that binds us to them:  Take two human lovers sitting together on a lovely warm moonlight night.  The beauty of the scene soaks into them and their mutual enjoyment of it seems to bind them closer together but there is no way that either of them can turn to the other and say: “Thank you for making the moon for me”.   When we share such moments with the Spirit however, that is precisely what we can say: “Thank you for making the moon for me;  for making wonder of the whole universe for me; for making my friends for me.  When we share good things with our friends, don’t we add to our enjoyment of them?  That is only a faint image of how we share good things with the Spirit, because we know that it is the Spirit Himself who is the very creator and inspirer of all the joy and goodness that is welling up within us.   “He will be a fountain of living water within you” as Jesus tells us.  
I would like to conclude with a comparison between our union with the spirit and the joy of a very happy marriage. The greatest lesson that the most happily married couple in the world will ever learn from each other, and learn it they most certainly will, is that in the end they are not enough for each other.  There will always be a depth in each partner that the other can never reach.  And yet those depths want to be reached, needs to be reached and touched and shared in.  It is only the Spirit of God, who has been truly given to us, who can share our life with us at that depth.
The human spirit, especially the human spirit endowed with grace, is so deep and immeasurable that only God can satisfy its need for love and companionship.


Saturday, 26 May 2012


---- Forwarded Message -----
From: Christina - - -
To: Fr Donald - - -
Sent: Saturday, 26 May 2012, 2:17 
Subject: Re: [Dom Donald's Blog]
He and I - compassion. infinite Ocean

What a beautiful reflection Don...many thanks as always.
Love and blessings.

----- Forwarded Message -----
From: William - - -
To: Donald.- - -
Sent: Saturday, 26 May 2012, 13:48
Subject: Gabrielle's humility and compassion

Dear Father Donald,
am captivated by the writings of Gabrielle Bossis on your Blog.
compassion... overlooking everything to stoop to a heart's needs, paying no attention to any disappointments or ingratitude, being even kinder to those who have hurt you.
Just be your Christ for them. If you make this your intention I'll be seen in you.
On this same theme of personal transparency for Our Lord in the little things in our relations with others, there is a reflective meditation on today's The Daily Gospel:
[Saint Aelred of Rielvaux (1110-1167), Cistercian monk: Spiritual Friendship] ref: John 21:20-25.
Let no one say that he is held in contempt for the reason that he is not promoted [acknowledged, appreciated =V=disappointments or ingratitude ] saying that the Lord Jesus pre­ferred Peter to John in this [leadership] respect; for he did not, on that account, lessen his affection for John, because he had given Peter the leadership...
Peter was the more exalted; John, the more secure.... Peter was exposed to action, John was reserved for love.
Whilst basing her faith upon the 'rock' of  Peter, Gabrielle surely gives expression to Christ's love by basing her life on John's intimacy with Jesus. If few of us rise to positions of influence, and even fewer become martyrs for love, all of us can in our relationships be your Christ for them...If you make this your intention I'll be seen in you
Ask My mother to give [compassion] to you. Whilst Peter had the care of the nescient church, John dwelt with and had care for Mary. Little wonder that Gabrielle is encouraged by Jesus to ask My mother!
It seems to me that it is in the profound personal communication of Our Lord to the receptive humble spirit of Gabrielle that the spiritual life is most wonderfully revealed. 
With my love in Our Lord,
Iniskeel sundown

Pentecost depicted by icon

Stations of the Resurrection
Meditations by Terry Tastatd
Original Icons by Carolne Lees

John 16:13-14
[Jesus said:} "When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you."

This icon depicts Pentecost, but not as a onetime-only event in the past. Rather, it helps us to understand Pentecost as a process continuing through all ages and countries, as the Spirit of God moves over the world.

The Spirit is depicted as an orb, like the sun, its rays reaching down toward Mary and the apostles. As the Spirit flickers toward them, we notice that its symbolic rays are coloured green, a reminder that fruitfulness is one of the gifts of the Spirit.
It is the Spirit also who drives the Church outward, making us evangelists. If we believe in God, we cannot stand still. .We must give an account of the hope that is in us. The fruits of this are seen in the figure of the king emerging out of darkness. We know that in history missionaries often converted kings first, because this would encourage their followers to come after them. So the king represents the achievement of the Church in bringing the gospel to the pagan world.

The king has heard the good news of Christ risen from the dead; hence he carries in his hand white garments. These garments remind us of Christ, set free from the tomb, just like the king who emerges out of darkness. But the white garments are also a symbol of baptismal robes, baptism setting the seal on our Christian com­mitment and joining us to the mystical body of Christ, the Church.

Around the tomb the apostles and Mary give their affirmation. The hands of the apostles are lifted in blessing, while the arms of Mary rise in praise and intercession. She pleads for many, constantly, for of all the saints in eternity she has been uniquely privileged. Looking at the icon we see that around her head are Greek words that tell us that she is "Mother of God." Through her, the Christ, the Messiah, has come into the world, human and divine.

There is a unity here among the apostles and Mary. Each figure is distinct, yet each sits comfortably with the others, for the unity of the Church does not mean uniformity, but rather harmony. Some of the disciples are robed in red, because in the history of the Church in virtually every age, there have been men and women who have paid for their faith with their lives.

We adore you and praise you, O Risen Lord
Because by your death and resurrection you give life to the world.
We are one people,
drawn from many nations. Holy Spirit,
go-between God,
weave your people ever more closely together so that our faith in action
and the joy of our worship
may draw others to know you.

10th. of twelve Orthodox Feasts
One of the 12 Icons on the wall of abbey offices cloister.
12 Otherwise called, "Festival Row" of an iconostasis screen.
Interest for further discovery.

Friday, 25 May 2012

He and I - compassion. infinite Ocean

YOU AND i Gabrielle Bossis. p.192/3. 1945 Part Two

February 1 – 1945. Holy hour.
"Don't be astonished at My suggestion that you never cease asking for compassion, humility and gen­tleness. Aren't these the hallmarks of your Bridegroom's heart and shouldn't you try to resemble Him? Wouldn't you be happier if you had these qualities? And isn't it always your happiness that I'm seeking? .. Ask My mother to give them to you and offer sacrifices in ex­change. Plant the seed of desire for them. And as always, ask Me to help you.

How happy a father is when his child who cannot yet walk holds out his arms to him. And if the child is tired, how he holds him to his heart! Who is happier, the father or the child?

If you only knew what compassion really is - the compassion you must strive to imitate! Overlooking everything to stoop to a heart's needs, paying no attention to any disappointments or ingratitude, being even kinder to those who have hurt you. Just be your Christ for them. If you make this your intention I'll be seen in you. You are so little that you wonder how this could be. You know how grace gives unction to the voice, the look, a gesture? You noticed that yesterday when your relative who had not seen you for three years exclaimed, 'Oh, how I love you!' She was addressing Me in your voice."
"Lord, I hope people will always find flashes of You in me."
Nearby Inishkeel Island from Narin
"Then disappear more and more, My little girl. I am your infinite Ocean; flow over into Me. It is so simple for you to lose yourself there. Since I'm waiting for you. One will only - Mine. A single goal - the Father's glory. A single declaration - 'I love You with all the strength of this heart that You gave me: That's all. And the Father takes us together as a single offering.
One only: I - you."
Gweebarra Bay

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Saint David of Scotland

Saint of the day: 24th May

Saint David of Scotland

Scotland's greatest king was the sixth and youngest son of St Margaret of Scotland and Malcolm III, born in 1085. He married Matilda daughter of Waldef, the Anglo-Saxon Earl of Northampton and Huntingdon which gave him a claim to the earldom Northumberland.

For many years he waged a long and unsuccessful war against England, but after being crowned king of Scotland in 1124, around the age of 40, he devoted his life to peaceful activities and became known as a kind, just and liberal king.

Historians say he was responsible for making Scotland into a modern nation, by reforming the legal system and public administration and encouraging trade and the foundation of towns. He also reformed the Scottish church, establishing a system of dioceses. Under his rule many monasteries, hospitals and almshouses were founded.

David prayed the Divine Office daily, received Communion each week and gave generous alms to the poor - often in person as his mother had done.

He died on this day in 1153 and was buried at Dunfermline. His shrine was a popular place of pilgrimage until the Reformation. One of the patron saints of Scotland, many churches are named after him.