Thought for the Day – 14 June – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Purity of Intention
“St Alphonsus indicates the signs by which we can judge whether our actions are performed from the pure intention of pleasing God.
(1) The first sign is that you are not disturbed when your projects are unsuccessful but retain the same composure as if you had succeeded. This will be the case when you are working for GOD ALONE, so that once you realise, that God has not desired your efforts to succeed, you no longer desire it either. You know that He is not concerned with the outcome of your work but only with whether you have undertaken it with the purpose of pleasing Him.
(2) The second proof is that you are as pleased with the good which s worked by means of others, as if it had been achieved through you.
(3) The third sign is that you do not long for one position rather than another but, are content with whatever Providence has arranged for you, so that you seek only to please God in everything which you do.
(4) The final proof is that you do not look for approval or gratitude because of your good actions. If you are not appreciated or are ill-treated in any way, you retain your peace of mind because you have already achieved your purpose, which was to please God by working for love of Him. (Cf Al Divino Servizo, 11, 7).”
Quote/s of the Day – 14 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Readings: Second Corinthians 6: 1-10, 98: 1, 2b, 3ab, 3cd-4, Matthew 5: 38-42
“But I say to you not to resist evil but if one strike thee on thy right cheek, turn to him also the other.“
“Judge not and you will not be judged; condemn not and you will not be condemned; forgive and you will be forgiven; give and it will be given to you, good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For the measure you give, will be the measure you get back.“
“Someone who shows no clemency, who is not clothed with the bowels of mercy and tears, no matter what sort of student he is in spirituality, such a one does not fulfil the law of Christ.”
St Jerome (347-420) Father & Doctor of the Church
“If you do not close your ear to others, you open God’s ear to yourself.”
St Peter Chrysologus (400-450) Father & Doctor of the Church
“You must be reconciled with your enemies, speak to them as if they had never done you anything but good all your life, keeping nothing in your heart but the charity, which the good Christian should have for everyone, so that we can all appear with confidence before the tribunal of God.”
One Minute Reflection – 14 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Readings: Second Corinthians 6: 1-10, 98: 1, 2b, 3ab, 3cd-4, Matthew 5: 38-42
“And, should anyone press you into service for one mile, go with him for two miles.” – Matthew 5:41
REFLECTION – “If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic, hand him your cloak as well; from the one who takes what is yours do not demand it back and do to others what you would have them do to you,” (Mt 5.40; Lk 6.30-31). In that way, we will not be dismayed like those whose possessions have been taken away against their will but, to the contrary, will be glad like people who have willingly given, since we would rather make a free gift to our neighbour, than give way to constraint. “And,” He continues, “should anyone press you into service for one mile, go with him for two miles.” In that way, we are not following him like a slave but going before him like a free man. So, in everything, Christ invites you to be of service to your neighbour, taking no thought for his wickedness but filling your own goodness to the brim. Thus He invites us to become like our Father “who makes his sun rise on the bad and the good,” (Mt 5.45).
All this is not the deed of someone who abolishes the Law but of someone who fulfils and develops it for us (Mt 5.17). To serve freedom is an even greater service and our Liberator puts forward, an even deeper submission and devotion towards Him. For He has not set us free from the obligations of the old Law to make us independent of Himself… but so that, having received His grace, yet more abundantly, we might love Him all the more and, in loving Him all the more, might receive an even greater glory from Him, when we are forever in the presence of His Father. ” – St Irenaeus of Lyons (c 130-c.208) Bishop, Martyr, Ttheologian – Against the Heresies, IV, 13, 3
PRAYER – True Light of the world, Lord Jesus Christ, as You enlighten all men for their salvation, give us Your grace, we pray to herald Your coming by preparing the ways of justice and of peace. Grant, that by the prayers of Your Saints who have gone before us and the assistance of Your Blessed Mother, we may follow more closely in Your footsteps and obey Your words. We pray to You Lord Jesus, Who live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen. All praise, honour and glory to the divine HEART of JESUS. – Indulgence 50 Days, Once a day. Raccolta 168 Pope Leo XIII, 14 June 1901.
Our Morning Offering – 14 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart”
O Good Jesus, Make Me Live in Thee and for Thee By Pope Benedict XV (1854-1922)
O Most Sacred Heart of Jesus! O fount of every good! I adore Thee, I love Thee and sincerely repenting of my sins I present to Thee my poor heart. Give it back to me humble, patient, pure and in everything, conformed to Thy wishes. Make me, O good Jesus, live in Thee and for Thee. Protect me in dangers, comfort me in afflictions, grant me health of body, succour in my temporal needs, Thy blessing in all my works and the grace of a holy death. Amen
Indulgence – 100 days Once a day Pope Benedict XV 4 December 1916
Saint of the Day – 14 June – St Marcian of Syracuse (Died c 68) Martyr, Bishop of Syracuse, Sicily, Italy, Disciple of and Consecrated by St Peter, Missionary, Evangelist. Born in the first century in Antioch and died in c 68 in Syracuse, Italy by murder. Patronages – Cities of Gaeta and Syracuse, Italy. Also known as Marcellus.
The Roman Martyrology states of him today: “At Syracuse, St Marcian, Bishop, who was Consecrated Bishop by the blessed St Peter and killed by the Jews after he had preached the Gospel.”
Marcian is considered the first evangeliser of Christianity in that Italian City, where he arrived in the year 39, sent by Saint Peter, of whom he was a disciple. He is considered the first Bishop of Syracuse .
His preaching was completed with that of Saint Paul.
He made many conversions,for which he suffered persecution by the local Jewish community and in the year 68 he was Martyred.
His body is venerated in the Cathedral of Gaeta, the City of which he is a Co-patron but the oldest representation is found in the Catacomb of Santa Lucia in Syracuse.
Notre-Dame de la Treille / Our Lady of the Trellis, Lille, Nord, Flandres, France, 1234 – 14 June:
Three series of miraculous events are associated with the Statue, occurring in 1234, from 1519 to 1527 and from 1634 to 1638. The miracle of 1234 was the healing of the 53 disabled patients who resorted to her intercession and were cured upon praying before the Statue of Our Lady of the Trellis, installed behind a latticework fence in St Peter’s Collegiate Church in Lille, France. The miracles in the 16th century were varied and included deliverance from demonic possession, hernias, blindness, paralysis and plague. In 1254, a Confraternity of Our Lady of the Treille was canonically established by Pope Alexander IV and since 1259, an annual procession in honour of Our Lady of the Treille was held – a practice which continued until the French Revolution and since then resumed and is continued today. In 1634, Jean Le Vasseur, Mayor of Lille, Consecrated the City to Our Lady of the Treille. In 1667, Louis XIV, who had just taken Flanders, took an oath to respect the freedoms of Lille before the Statue. A procession held annually on the second Sunday after Pentecost commemorates the miracles. Saved during the destruction of St Peter’s Church in the French Revolution, the Statue moved afterwards to St Catherine’s Church. Devotion to Our Lady of the Trellis revived in the mid-1800s and a grand neo-Gothic Church arose in her honour, where the Statue was installed in 1872 and canonically crowned in 1874. After the theft of the original in 1959, sculptor Marie Madeleine Weerts carved the image now displayed in Lille’s Catholic Cathedral, the Basilica of Notre-Dame de la Treille.
The statue is described by Father Charles Bernard, Parish Priest of the Church of St Catherine, as a sSatue of stone “a little more than two and a half feet high; she has a scepter in her right hand and from her left. she supports the Baby Jesus on her knees.” He mentions the trellis of gilded wood surrounding the Statue and its pedestal, and specifies that the old trellis made of gilded iron was lost in 1792 during the destruction of the Collegiate Church of St. Peter. He speculates that this trellis is what gave the Statue its name, although it is more likely that the name came from Treola, a place existing in the 9th century in what is now Lille.
St Anastasius of Córdoba St Burchard of Meissen St Caomhán of Inisheer St Castora Gabrielli St Cearan the Devout Bl Constance de Castro St Cyprien St Cyriacus of Zeganea St Davnet St Digna of Córdoba St Dogmael of Wales St Elgar of Bardsey
St Etherius of Vienne St Felix of Córdoba Bl Fortunatus of Napoli Bl Francisca de Paula de Jesus Isabel St Gerold of Evreux Bl Hartwig of Salzburg St Joseph the Hymnographer St Marcian of Syracuse (Died c 68) Bishop Martyr, Consecrated by St Peter St Mark of Lucera
Thought for the Day – 13 June – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“On the 13th of June in the year 1231, a crowd of children set out from the nearby Convent of Arcella and entered Padua crying out: “The Saint is dead!” The entire City was -plunged into mourning because it’s Saint was dead.
Anthony had traversed Italy, converting heretics, recalling innumerous sinners to repentance, working miracles and giving peace to souls and to strife-torn cities. Soon he had felt that his young life was already running out as the result of these labours and austerities and he had determined to hide himself in a little Franciscan Monastery at Camposampiero near Padua. In order to shelter himself from the world ,as far as possible, he built a little cell in the bifurcation of the branches of a giant walnut tree. Here he spent his last days in prayer and contemplation, joining with the birds in their songs of praise to God. He was no longer a man but an angel in human form. Crowds of the faithful flocked around the tree to hear, once again, the voice of the Saint calling on them to practise virtue and to follow the road to Heaven.
It was in this little nest, at only thirty six years of age, that his life slowly flickered out, consumed, not so much by disease as by a burning love for God and for his fellowman.
Let us pray that we may obtain a spark of this love, which will detach us from the world, cause us to belong entirely to God and make us generous apostles in our work for the salvation of souls. Jesus, my God, I love You above all things. Amen.”
Quote/s of the Day – 13 June – – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – The Memorial of St Anthony of Padua (1195-1231) Evangelical Doctor of the Church
“The breadth of charity, widens the narrow heart, of the sinner.”
“Charity is the soul of faith and makes it alive; without love, faith dies.”
“He prays best , who does not know that he is praying.”
“The life of the body, is the soul, the life of the soul, is Christ.”
“Attribute to God, every good that you have received. If you take credit for something that does not belong to you, you will be guilty of theft!”
O God, send forth Your Holy Spirit By St Anthony of Padua (1195-1231) Doctor of the Church
O God, send forth Your Holy Spirit into my heart that I may perceive, into my mind, that I may remember, and into my soul, that I may meditate. Inspire me to speak with piety, holiness, tenderness and mercy. Teach, guide and direct my thoughts and senses, from beginning to end. May Your grace, ever help and correct me, and may I be strengthened now with wisdom from on high, for the sake of Your infinite mercy. Amen
St Anthony of Padua (1195-1231) Evangelical Doctor of the Church
One Minute Reflection – 13 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Sunday within the Octave, Readings: Ezekiel 17: 22-24, Psalms 92: 2-3, 13-14, 15-16, Second Corinthians 5: 6-10, Mark 4: 26-34
“It puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade” – Mark 4:32
REFLECTION – “The kingdom of heaven, says the gospel, is like a mustard seed … Christ is the kingdom of heaven. Sown like a mustard seed in the garden of the Virgin’s womb, He grew up into the tree of the Cross whose branches stretch across the world … Christ is the kingdom, because all the glory of His kingdom is within Him. Christ is a man because all humanity is restored in Him. Christ is a mustard seed because the infinitude of divine greatness, is accommodated to the littleness of flesh and blood.
Do we need further examples? Christ became all things in order to restore all of us in Himself. The man Christ, received the mustard seed which represents the kingdom of God … though as God, He had always possessed it He sowed it in His garden.
The Church is a garden extending over the whole world, tilled by the plough of the Gospel, fenced in by stakes of doctrine and discipline, cleared of every harmful weed by the labour of the Apostles, fragrant and lovely with perennial flowers – virgins’ lilies and martyrs’ roses, set amid the pleasant verdure of all, who bear witness to Christ and the tender plants of all, who have faith in Him.
Such then is the mustard seed which Christ sowed in His garden. When He promised a kingdom to the partriarchs, the seed took root in them, with the prophets it sprang up, with the Apostles it grew tall in the Church – it became a great tree putting forth innumerable branches laden with gifts. And now, you too must take the wings of the psalmist’s dove (Ps 68:14) … and fly to rest forever among those sturdy, fruitful branches. No snares are set to trap you there (Ps 91:3); fly off, then, with confidence and dwell securely in its shelter.” – St Peter Chrysologus (406-450) Bishop of Ravenna, Father and Doctor of the Church – Sermon 98.
PRAYER – Almighty Father, we bless You Lord of life, through whom all living things tend. You are the source of all, our first beginning and our end! Grant holy Father, that we may allow the Word to enter our hearts and grow by Your grace, so that we may always live for Your glory. May the intercession of the Blessed Virgi Mary, all Your Angels and Saints, grant us strength and zeal. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen. MAY the Heart of JESUS in the most Blessed Sacrament be praised, adored and loved with grateful affection, at every moment, in all the Tabernacles of the world, even to the end of time. Amen.Indulgence 100 Days, Once a day. Raccolta 161 Blessed Pius IX, 29 February 1868.
Our Morning Offering – 13 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Sunday within the Octave
Lord, Give Me Your Heart By St Claude de la Colombiere SJ (1641-1682) Apostle of Devotion to the Sacred Heart and Spiritual Director to St Margaret Mary Alacoque
O God, what will You do to conquer the fearful hardness of our hearts? Lord, You must give us new hearts, tender hearts, sensitive hearts, to replace hearts that are made of marble and of bronze. You must give us Your own Heart, Jesus. Come, lovable Heart of Jesus. Place Your Heart deep in the centre of our hearts and enkindle in each heart a flame of love as strong, as great, as the sum of all the reasons that we have for loving You, my God. O holy Heart of Jesus, dwell hidden in our hearts, so that we may live only in You and only for You, so that, in the end, we may live with You eternally in heaven. Amen
Saint of the Day – 13 June – Saint Tryphillius (Died 370) Bishop of Nicosia, Cyprus, eloquent and learned Priest, Defender of the True Faith against Arianism and of St Athanasius of Alexandria. Born in Rome, Italy and died in 370 of natural causes. Also known as – Triphyllius, Trifilio, Trifillo.
Tryphillius was educated in law at the school of Beirut. He converted to Christianity and was named Bishop of Nicosis.
He was a disciple of Saint Spyridon of Trimythous. He was also an ardent supporter of St Athanasius of Alexandria against the Arians. Saint Athanasius praised Tryphillius for his adherence to orthodoxy and consequently, the Arians turned their attacks on him.
Tryphillius lived in simplicity without pomp or splendour,and preached everyday. St Jerome considered him one of the most eloquent Church figures of the era.
Sunday within the Octave of the Sacred Heart +2021
13 June 1917 – The Second Apparition of our Lady of Fatima
Madonna della Cava/ Our Lady of the Cave, Latera, Viterbo, Latium, Italy – 13 June:
The Church of the Madonna della Cava is a small Church located in an area of tufa quarries in one of the roads leading to the agricultural areas of the country. It is the Church and above all, a painting depicting the Madonna and child, ae the subject of particular devotion on the part of the inhabitants of Latium. The Church, rebuilt today, was bombed during World War II and reduced to ruins, ruined from flying debris and explosions with only the framework surviving behind the Altar and the painting.
Bl Achilleo of Alexandria Bl Alfonso Gomez de Encinas Bl Anthony of Ilbenstadt St Aquilina of Syria St Aventino of Arbusto St Damhnade St Diodorus of Emesa St Eulogius of Alexandria St Fandilas of Penamelaria St Felicula of Rome St Fortunatus of North Africa
Blessed Gerard of Clairvaux (Died 1138) – was the elder brother of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux. He was a Soldier. When he was wounded in combat at the siege of Grancy, Gerard resolved to become a Monk. He became a Benedictine Cistercian Monk at Citeaux. He worked with Saint Bernard at Clairvaux and became his closest confidant. He died in 1138 of natural causes.
St Lucian of North Africa St Mac Nissi of Clonmacno
St Maximus of Cravagliana St Nicolas Bùi Ðuc The St Peregrinus of Amiterno St Rambert St Salmodio Bl Servatius Scharff St Thecla St Tryphillius (Died 370) Bishop St Victorinus of Assisi St Wilicarius of Vienne
Thought for the Day – 12 June – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971) “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
“All Generations Shall Call Me Blessed”
‘A Jewish girl, poor in this world’s goods but rich in virtue, arrived after a long and difficult journey at a village in the hills of Judea, called Hebron. There, she paid a visit to her cousin, Elizabeth. When Elizabeth saw the girl, she was immediately enlightened by the Holy Spirit with the knowledge, that her visitor, was the Mother of God. “How have I deserved,” she cried out, “that the mother of my Lord, should come to me?” (Lk 1:43). At these words, Mary looked up towards Heaven and gave spontaneous expression to a hymn of humble acknowledgement to God, Who had “regarded the lowliness of His Handmaid” (Lk 1:48). Then she made a solemn prophecy, which would surely have assured the cynical intellectuals and nobles of the land but, which history has wonderfully fulfilled. “Behold” she said, “all generations shall call me blessed” (ibid). We can testify today, that this miracle came to pass. All the nations have paid reverence to the Jewish girl, who became the Mother of God and our Mother, the Queen of Heaven and earth, the comforter of the afflicted, the conqueror of Satan and the invincible Guardian of the Church. From the engravings in the Catacombs, to the celestial Madonnas of the Angelico, from the rudimentary sculpture of Roman art, to the prayerful statues on the pinnacles of more modern Cathedrals, the image of Mary has shone as a beacon of hope for all generations. Men bow before her and ask for light, for comfort and for pardon. “If anyone follows Mary,” says St Bernard, “he will not lose his way; if anyone pray to her, he will not despair; if anyone thinks of her, he will not sin; if anyone reaches out to her, he will not fall; if anyone places himself under her protection, he need have no fear; if anyone places himself under her leadership, he will never give up; if anyone pays homage to her, he is certain to reach his destination safely”(Homil Missus est 2:17).”
Quote/s of the Day – 12 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Our Lady assured Blessed Lúcia:
“My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God.” Thus, if we devote ourselves to her Immaculate Heart, Mary will lead us to her Son, Jesus Christ and we will be on the way to Heaven.“
Our Lady of Fatima
“Do you not know, that not only is Jesus, resting and dwelling continually in the Heart of Mary but that He is, Himself the Heart of Mary … “
St John Eudes Apostle of the Two Holy Hearts
“If you put all the love, of all the mothers into one heart, it still would not equal the love of the Heart of Mary for her children.”
One Minute Reflection – 12 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Readings: Second Corinthians 5: 14-21, Psalms 103: 1-2, 3-4, 9-10, 11-12, Gospel: Luke 2: 41-51
“And his mother kept all these words in her heart.” – Luke 2:51
REFLECTION – “Often, it seems to us, Mary forgot to eat and to drink, keeping vigil in order to think about Christ, to see Christ in His flesh. She burned with love of Him and passionately loved to serve Him. She often did what the Song of Songs sings about: “I was sleeping, but my heart kept vigil.” (Song 5:2) Even when she was resting, she continued to dream of Him who filled her thoughts throughout the day. Whether she was keeping vigil or resting in peace, she always lived in Him, was always occupied with Him.
Where her treasure was, there also was her heart (Mt 6:21); where her glory was, there also was her mind. She loved her Lord and her Son with all her heart, with all her mind, with all her strength (Mt 22:37). She saw with her eyes, touched with her hands, the Word of Life (1 Jn 1:1). How blessed was Mary, to whom it was given to embrace Him who embraces and nourishes everything! How happy was she who carried Him, who carries the universe (Heb 1:3), she who nursed a Son, who gives her life, a Son who nourishes her and all beings on earth (Ps 145:15).
The One Who is the wisdom of the Father, put His arms around her neck, the One Who is the strength, that gives movement to everything sat in her arms. He Who is the rest of souls, (Mt 11:29) rested on her motherly breast. How gently He held her in His hands, peacefully looked at her, He Whom the angels wish to contemplate (1 Pet 1:12) and He gently called her, He Whom every being calls upon when in need. Filled with the Holy Spirit, she held Him close to her heart … She never had enough of seeing Him or of hearing Him, Whom “many prophets and kings wished to see … but did not see.” (Lk 10:24) Thus Mary grew evermore in love and her mind was unceasingly attached to divine contemplation.” – St Amadeus of Lausanne (1108-1159) Bishop – Homily on Mary, 4
PRAYER – Lord open our hearts to Your grace. As You brought joy to the world through the incarnation of Your Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, grant that through the prayer of the Immaculate Heart of His Ever-Virgin Mother, our hearts too may grow in virtue and love by learning to reflect constantly on His commandments and counsels. We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 12 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
O Mother Blest By St Alphonsus Maira Liguori (1696-1787) Most Zealous Doctor of the Church Trns. Fr Edmund Vaughn C.SS,R, (1827 – 1908 )
O Mother blest, whom God bestows On sinners and on just, What joy, what hope thou givest those Who in thy mercy trust. Thou are clement, thou are chaste, Mary thou art fair, Of all mothers, sweetest best, none with thee compare.
O heavenly Mother, mistress sweet! it never yet was told that suppliant sinner left thy feet, unpitied, unconsoloed. Thou are clement, thou are chaste, …
O Mother, pitiful and mild, Cease not to pray for me; For I do love thee as a child, And sigh for love of thee. Thou art clement, thou art chaste, …
Most powerful Mother, all men know Thy Son denies thee nought; Thou askest, wishest it, and lo! His power thy will hath wrought. Thou art clement, thou art chaste, …
O Mother blest, for me obtain, Ungrateful though I be, To love that God who first could deign To show such love for me. Thou art clement, thou art chaste, Mary, thou art fair. Of all mothers, sweetest, best, None with thee compare.
Saint of the Day – 12 June – St Pope Leo III (c 750-816) Bishop of Rome and Ruler of the Papal States from 26 December 795 to his death, Diplomat, financial administrator and Defender of the City ad peoples of Rome and of the Church. Peacemaker and restorer of Churches and Monasteries, Patron of the Arts and apostle of the poor. Known as “Charlemagne’s Pope” Born at Rome, Italy in c 750 and died on 12 June 816.
The Roman Martyrology statesof him today: “At Rome, in the Vatican Basilica, St Leo III, to whom God miraculously restored his eyes and his tongue, after they had been torn out by impious men.”
Leo was of a modest family in southern Italy, the son of Atyuppius and Elizabeth. He was made Cardinal-Priest of Santa Susanna by Pope Adrian I, and also Vestiarius, or Chief of the Pontifical Treasury, or wardrobe.
He was elected on 26 December 795, the day Adrian I was buried and Consecrated on the following day. With the letter informing Charlemagne that he had been unanimously elected Pope, Leo sent him the keys of the cCnfession of St Peter and the Standard of the City. This he did, to show that he regarded the Frankish King as the Protector of the Holy See. In return he received from Charlemagne, letters of congratulation and a great part of the treasure which the King had captured from the Avars. The acquisition of this wealth, was one of the causes which enabled Leo to be such a great benefactor to the Churches and charitable institutions of Rome.
Prompted by jealousy or ambition, or by feelings of hatred and revenge, a number of the relatives of Pope Adrian I formed a plot to render Leo unfit to hold his sacred office. On the occasion of the procession of the Greater Litanies (25 April, 799), when the Pope was making his way towards the Flaminian Gate, he was suddenly attacked by a body of armed men. He was dashed to the ground and an effort was made to root out his tongue and tear out his eyes. After he had been left for a time bleeding in the street, he was hurried off at night to the Monastery of St Erasmus (remeber St Elmo?)on the Cœlian. There, in what seemed quite a miraculous manner, he recovered the full use of his eyes and tongue. Escaping from the Monastery, he betook himself to Charlemagne, accompanied by many of the Romans. He was received by the Frankish King with the greatest honour at Paderborn, although his enemies had filled the King’s ears with malicious accusations against him. After a few months’ stay in Germany, the Frankish Monarch caused him to be escorted back to Rome, where he was received with every demonstration of joy by the whole populace, natives and foreigners.
The Pope’s enemies were then tried by Charlemagne’s envoys and, being unable to establish either Leo’s guilt or their own innocence, were sent as prisoners to France (Frankland). In the following year (800) Charlemagne himself came to Rome and the Pope and his accusers were brought face to face. The assembled Bishops declared that they had no right to judge the Pope;but Leo of his own free will, in order, as he said, to dissipate any suspicions in men’s minds, declared on oath, that he was wholly guiltless of the charges which had been brought against him. At his special request, the death sentence which had been passed upon his principal enemies, was commuted into a sentence of exile.
A few days later, Leo and Charlemagne again met. It was on Christmas Day in St. Peter’s. After the Gospel had been sung, the Pope approached Charlemagne,, who was kneeling before the Confession of St Peter,and placed a Crown upon his head. The assembled multitude at once made the Basilica ring with the shout: “To Charles, the most pious Augustus, crowned by God, to our great and pacific Emperor life and victory!” By this act was revived the Empire in the West and, in theory, at least, the world was declared by the Church, subject to one temporal head, as Christ had made it subject to one spiritual head.
It was understood that the first duty of the new Emperor was to be the Protector of the Roman Church and of Christendom against the heathen. With a view to combining the East and West under the effective rule of Charlemagne, Leo strove to further the project of a marriage between him and the Eastern Empress Irene. Her deposition, however (801), prevented the realisation of this excellent plan. Some three years after the departure of Charlemagne from Rome (801), Leo again crossed the Alps to see him (804). According to some he went to discuss with the Emperor ,the division of his territories between his sons. At any rate, two years later, he was invited to give his assent to the Emperor’s provisions for the said partition. Equally while acting in harmony with the Pope, Charlemagne combatted the heresy of Adoptionism which had arisen in Spain but he went somewhat further than his spiritual guide when he wished to bring about the general insertion of the Filioque in the Nicene Creed. The two were, however, acting together when Salzburg was made the metropolitical City for Bavaria and when Fortunatus of Grado was compensated for the loss of his See of Grado by the gift of that of Pola. The joint action of the Pope and the Emperor was felt even in England. Through it, Eardulf of Northumbria recovered his Kingdom, and the dispute between Eanbald, Archbishop of York and Wulfred, Archbishop of Canterbury, was regulated.
Leo had, however, many relations with England solely on his own account. By his command, the Synod of Beccanceld (or Clovesho, 803), condemned the appointing of laymen as superiors of Monasteries. In accordance with the wishes of Ethelheard, Archbishop of Canterbury, Leo excommunicated Eadbert Praen for seizing the throne of Kent and withdrew the pallium which had been granted to Litchfield, authorising the restoration of the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the See of Canterbury “just as St. Gregory the Apostle and Master of the nation of the English had arranged it”.
During the Pontificate of Leo, the Church of Constantinople was in a state of unrest. In their distress, the Monks turned for help to Leo, as they had done earlier. The Pope replied, not merely with words of praise and encouragement but also, by the dispatch of rich presents and, after Michael I came to the Byzantine throne, he ratified the treaty between him and Charlemagne which was to secure peace for East and West.
Not only in the last mentioned transaction but in all matters of importance, did the Pope and the Charlemagne act in concert. It was on Charlemagne’s advice that, to ward off the savage raids of the Saracens, Leo maintained a fleet,and caused his coast line to be regularly patrolled by his ships of war. But because he did not feel competent to keep the Moslem pirates out of Corsica, he entrusted the guarding of it to the Emperor.
But when the great Emperor died (28 January 814), evil times once more broke on Leo. A fresh conspiracy was formed against him but on this occasion the Pope was apprised of it before it came to a head. He caused the chief conspirators to be seized and executed. No sooner had this plot been crushed than a number of nobles of the Campagna rose in arms and plundered the country. They were preparing to march on Rome itself, when they were overpowered by the Duke of Spoleto, acting under the orders of the King of Italy (Langobardia).
The large sums of money which Charlemagne had given to the Papal Treasury enabled Leo to become an efficient helper of the poor and a patron of art, and to renovate the Churches, not only of Rome, but even of Ravenna. He employed the imperishable art of mosaic not only to portray the political relationship between Charlemagne and himself but chiefly, to decorate the Churches, especially his titular Church of St Susanna. Up to the end of the sixteenth century a figure of Leo in mosaic was to be seen in that ancient church.
Leo III was buried in St Peter’s (12 June, 816), where his relics are to be found along with those of Sts Leo I, Leo II and Leo IV. He was Canonised in 1673 by Pope Clement X. The silver denarii of Leo III still extant, bears the name of the Frankish Emperor upon them, as well as that of Leo, showing thereby the Emperor as the Protector of the Church and overlord of the City of Rome.
Madonna del Giorno di Montalto / Our Lady of Montalto, Messina, Italy, 1294 – 12 June:
One night a humble Friar named Nicholas dreamt of the Virgin Mary who told him to go the next day, by the Senate of Messina and inform them, that Our Lady wanted a temple on that hill, dedicated as the Lady of the High Mountain. In the morning, the Friar thought it was all his imagination and not believing that the Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ would go to a poor Friar and thought no more of it. The next night, the Virgin appeared again in a dream to Nicholas, scolding him for disobedience. The monk then asked him how he could get himself heard by the Senate. Our Lady told him not to despair and the next day, at noon, a white dove on the hill site was outlined at the area where the Church was to be built. So it was, 12 June 1294, the hill was full of people and notables of Messina and a white dove appeared and marked out the spot for the Church (this miracle is represented by Statues in motion in the bell tower of the Cathedral). Fra Nicholas then went to the nearby Matagrifone castle to find the Queen Constance. He explained the facts, in the presence of a Court handmaiden who advised the Queen to drive the Monk away. The evil courtesan was suddenly seized with paralysis of her arm and excruciating pain throughout her body. The Monk advised her to apologise to the Madonna, she did so, and the pain was relieved. Queen Constance, remained shaken from the occurrence and she promised her help, indeed it was she who laid the first stone. By 1295 the Church was already built.
The Santuario della Madonna di Montalto was severely damaged during the 1908 earthquake and rebuilt in 1930. This view of the bell tower gives you a hint of the beauty of this Gothic and Romanesque structure.
St Amphion of Nicomedia Bl Antonia Maria Verna Bl Antonio de Pietra St Arsenius of Konev St Christian O’Morgair of Clogher St Chrodobald of Marchiennes St Cominus Bl Conrad of Maleville St Cunera St Cuniald St Cyrinus of Antwerp St Eskil St Galen of Armenia
Bl Mercedes Maria of Jesus St Odulf of Utrecht St Olympius of AEnos St Onuphrius of Egypt Bl Pelagia Leonti of Milazzo St Peter of Mount Athos St Placid of Val d’Ocre Bl Stanislaw Kubista Bl Stefan Grelewski Bl Stefan Kielman St Ternan of Culross St Valerius of Armenia
Martyrs of Bologna: Three Christians who were martyred at different times and places, but whose relics have been collected and enshrined together – Celsus, Dionysius, and Marcellinus. Their relics were enshrined in churches in Bologna and Rome in Italy.
Martyrs of Rome: Four members of the Imperial Roman nobility. They were all soldiers, one or more may have been officers, and all were martyred in the persecutions of Diocletian – Basilides, Cyrinus, Nabor and Nazarius. They were martyred in 304 outside Rome, Italy and buried along the Aurelian Way.
Three Holy Exiles: Three Christian men who became Benedictine monks at the Saint James Abbey in Regensburg, Germany, then hermits at Griestatten and whose lives and piety are celebrated together. – Marinus, Vimius and Zimius.
Thought for the Day – 11 June – Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Learn From Me, For I Am Meek and Humble of Heart”
“It is very easy to be gentle and humble when everything is going well for us. It is difficult, however, when we meet humiliation, misunderstanding or opposition. We need to be well advanced in perfection, if we are to have mildness and humility of heart, like that of Jesus.
We can only reach this state of perfection by prayer, sacrifice and character formation. Pride, self-love and the desire to excel, are the evil effects of our corrupted nature. St Francis de Sales jestingly remarked that self-love dies three days after us. It is difficult to remove it completely from our character and to put, in it’s place, the love of God and of our neighbour but, this operation is necessary, if we are to obtain Christ-like humility and gentleness of heart. God, not our own ego, should be the centre of our lives, He should be the focal point of all our thinking. Let us beseech God for this grace and try and behave in this fashion on all occasions.
When we encounter lack of sympathy, coldness or injustice on the part of our fellowmen, we should try and avoid becoming annoyed or discourage. The testimony of a sound conscience before God, is all that should concern us. We should offer everything else to God, whether it is joy or sorrow, praise or criticism. We shall be rewarded with peace of soul.
Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto Thine!”
Quote/s of the Day – 11 June – Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
“We, Christians, are the true Israel which springs from Christ, for we are carved out of His Heart, as from a Rock!”
St Justin Martyr (100-165) Father of the Church and Martyr
“How good and pleasant it is to dwell in the Heart of Jesus! Who is there who does not love a heart so wounded? Who can refuse a return of love to a Heart so loving? Amen.”
St Bernard (1090-1153) Mellifluous Doctor
“It is our vocation to set people’s hearts ablaze, to do what the Son of God did, who came to light a fire on earth in order to set it ablaze with His love.”
Blessed Frédéric Ozanam (1813–1853) “Servant to the Poor”
“The well-being of souls is only in Christ. Therefore, let the love of Jesus be our perfection and our profession, let us light our hearts from the eternal flames of love that radiate from the Sacred Heart of Jesus.”
One Minute Reflection – 11 June – Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Readings: First: Hosea 11: 1, 3-4, 8c-9, Psalm: Isaias 12: 2-3, 4, 5-6 (3), Second: Ephesians 3: 8-12, 14-19, Gospel: John 19: 31-37
“With joy you will draw water at the fountain of salvation” – Isaias 12:3
REFLECTION – “So where can our fragility find rest and security if not in the Saviour’s wounds? … They pierced His hands, His feet and His side with a thrust of a lance. Through these gaping holes, I can taste the honey from the rock (Ps 81:17) and the oil that flows from the very hard rock, which is to say, “Taste and see how good the Lord is.” (Ps 34:9) He had plans of peace (cf. Jer 29:11) and I did not know it. “For ‘who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?’” (Rom 11:34) The nail that enters His flesh has become for me, a key that opens to me, the mystery of His plans.
How could we not see through these openings? The nails and the wounds cry out, that truly, in the person of Christ, God reconciles the world to Himself. Iron pierced His being and touched His Heart, so that He is no longer ignorant of how to suffer my weaknesses. The secret of His Heart, is laid bare, in the wounds of His body; we see revealed the great mystery of His kindness, the merciful tenderness of our God, “the Dayspring who visited us from on high.” (Lk 1:78) And how could this tenderness not be manifested in His wounds? How could You show more clearly, than by Your wounds, that You, Lord, are gentle and compassionate and very merciful, since there is no greater love, than to give one’s life (Jn 15:13) for those who are condemned to death?!
So, all my merit is the Lord’s mercy and I shall not be lacking in merit, so long as mercy is not lacking in Him. If God’s mercies multiply, my merits will be many. But what will happen if I have to reproach myself with many faults? “Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.” (Rom 5:20) And if “the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting,” I for my part “will sing forever the favours of the Lord.” (Ps 103:17; 89:2) Is that my righteousness? Lord, I shall remember Your righteousness alone, for it is my righteousness, since You became “righteousness of God for me (Rom 1:17). ”- St Bernard (1091-1153) Mellifluous Ddoctor of the Church – Homilies on the Song of Songs, no. 61, 3-5
PRAYER – Almighty God and Father, we glory in the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Your beloved Son, as we dwell on the great things His love has done for us. Fill us with the grace which flows in abundance from the wounded Heart of Jesus, the source of Heaven’s gifts and eternal life. Through Christ our Lord in the unity of the Holy Spirt and the glory of God the Father, amen. Sweet Heart of my JESUS, Make me love Thee ever more and more! – 300 Days Indulgence Once a day, Plenary Once a month – Blesed Pope Pius IX – 26 November 1876
Saint of the Day – 11 June – Blessed Helen of Poland (c 1235-1298) Princess, Widow, Mother, Nun and Abbess of the Poor Clares, apostle of the poor, the needy and the sick. Born in c 1235 in Esztergom, Hungary as Jolenta Árpádházi and died on 11 June 1298 at Gniezno Poland of natural causes. Also known as – Helen of Hungary, Helena, Iolantha, Joheleth, Jolanda, olenta, Yolanda.
Jolenta was the daughter of King Béla IV of Hungary and Maria Laskarina. She was the sister of Saint Margaret of Hungary and Saint Kinga of Poland. One of her paternal aunts was the Franciscan Saint Elizabeth of Hungary.
As a young girl, Jolenta was sent to Poland to be tutored under the supervision of her sister, Kinga, who was married to the Duke of Poland. There, she was encouraged to marry Bolesław the Pious, which she did in 1257. They had three daughters:
Elisabeth of Kalisz (1263 – 28 September 1304); married Henry V, Duke of Legnica; Hedwig of Kalisz (1266 – 10 December 1339); married Władysław I the Elbow-high, King of Poland; Anna of Kalisz (born 1278, date of death unknown); a nun in Gniezno. During the time of her marriage, she was noted for her great services to the poor and needy of the country, as well as being a major benefactor of the Monasteries, Friaries and hospitals connected to them. Her husband gave her so much support in her charities that he earned the nickname “the Pious.” She was widowed in 1279.
Following Boleslaus’ death, Jolenta and Kinga, along with one of Jolenta’s daughters, Anna, retired to the Poor Clare Monastery that Kinga had founded in Sandez. and here she took the name Helen. Forced to relocate due to armed conflict in the region, Jolenta founded a new Monastery in Gniezno. She was persuaded to become Abbess of the community of nuns shortly before her death.
Helen was Beatified on 26 September 1827 by Pope Leo XII (cultus confirmed).
Our Lady of Mantara / Our Lady of ‘Awaiting’, Maghdouché, Sidon, South Governorate, Lebano,, 1721 – 11 June, 8 September:
While Jesus preached in Sidon, Mary is said to have waited here in the cave of Mantara (“awaiting” in Arabic). Emperor Constantine’s wife Helena replaced a pagan shrine with one to the Holy Mother, donating to it an Icon and Altar furnishings. Three centuries later, after takeover by an intolerant Arab ruler, Christians sealed the cave and fled Maghdouché. In 1683, descendants of the exiles returned to their homeland under the inclusive Prince Fakhreddin II. On 8 September 1721, when a goat fell through a gap in the porous limestone, its young herder made a rope from vine twigs, tied it to a tree and followed the animal into the hole but the rope broke. The boy fell into the darkness, where eventually he made out the golden glimmer of an Icon of the Madonna and Child. On seeing the image, the Melkite Catholic clergy recognised it as St Helen’s Icon.
Christians now celebrate its rediscovery annually on 8 September, Feast of the Virgin’s Birth. A Cathedral was added to the site in 1860 and a modern tower topped with a bronze Statue in the 1960s.
On 11 June 1911, some 400 people saw a silent, luminous apparition of the Madonna and Child near the cave. Our Lady of Mantara is invoked for the healing of eye diseases and the protection of children, so the Shrine is a popular site for infant Baptisms.
Bl Kasper of Grimbergen St Maximus of Naples St Parisius St Paula Frasinetti St Riagail of Bangor St Tochumra of Kilmore St Tochumra of Tuam — Martyrs of Tavira – 7 beati: Members of the Knights of Santiago de Castilla. During the re-conquest of the Iberian peninsula from the Muslims by Christian forces, in a period of truce between the armies, the group was allowed to leave the Portuguese camp to hunt. Near Tavira, Portugal, he and his companions were ambushed and killed by a Muslim force. Making a reprisal attack, the Portuguese army took the city of Tavira. The murdered knights were considered to be martyrs as they died in an action defending the faith. They were – • Blessed Alvarus Garcia • Blessed Beltrão de Caia • Blessed Damião Vaz • Blessed Estêvão Vasques • Blessed Garcia Roiz • Blessed Mendus Valle • Blessed Pedro Rodrigues They were martyred in 1242 outside Tavira, Faro, Portugal. Their relics are enshrined under the altar of Saint Barnabas in the Church of Our Lady, Queen of the Angels (modern Santa Maria do Castelo) in Tavria
Mercedarian Martyrs of Damietta: Three Mercedarian lay knights who worked to ransom Christians enslaved by Muslims. During the 7th Crusade, a plague swept through the Christian army and these knights volunteered to work with the sick. During this work they were captured by Muslims and ordered to convert to Islam; they refused. They were tortured, taken to Damietta, Egypt where they were murdered for their faith. They were thrown from a tower in the mid-13th century in Damietta, Egypt.
Thought for the Day – 10 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Sacred Heart of Jesus Surmounted by a Flaming Cross
“This flaming Heart surmounted by a Cross represents, not only the infinite love of Jesus, the obedient victim of love but indicates also, that if we wish to follow our divine Redeemer as far as Heaven, our true country, we must follow Him along the path of love and of the Cross. There is only one way of perfection and that is, the way of the Cross.
Jesus has told us this and has set us an example. “If anyone wishes to come after me,” He said, “let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Lk 9:23). He gave us an example by allowing Himself, innocent as He was, to be burdened with our sin. He staggered as far as Calvary beneath the weight of the Cross and there, He shed His Precious Blood to the last drop.
We must take the road of the Cross also. If we do not love our own cross, we do not love the Cross of Jesus. The Saints looked for humiliation and suffering in order to prove their love for Jesus. We must, at least, accept with resignation, those sufferings and humiliations which Providence has allowed to us.
We must embrace our cross daily and carry it with faith and love in the footsteps of Jesus. The Cross is the standard of Christ – it is the ladder which leads us to Heaven. If anyone does not want to have anything to do with it, he does not want to have anything to do with Jesus!”
Quote/s of the Day – 10 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Readings: First: Second Corinthians 3: 15 — 4: 1, 3-6, Psalm: Psalms 85: 9ab and 10, 11-12, 13-14, Gospel: Matthew 5: 20-26
“Go first and be reconciled with your brother”
“Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times but seventy times seven.”
“There are three things, my brethren, by which faith stands firm, devotion remains constant and virtue endures. They are prayer, fasting and mercy. Prayer knocks at the door, fasting obtains, mercy receives. Prayer, mercy and fasting, these three are one and they give life to each other.”
“If you want God to know that you are hungry, know that another is hungry. If you hope for mercy, show mercy. If you look for kindness, show kindness. If you want to receive, give. If you ask for yourself what you deny to others, your asking is a mockery.”
St Peter Chrysologus (400-450) Bishop of Ravenna, Father & Doctor of the Church
“To the extent that you pray, with all your soul, for the person who slanders you, God will make the truth known to those who have been scandalised by the slander.”
St Maximus the Confessor (c 580–662)
“See to it that you refrain from harsh words. But if you do speak them, do not be ashamed to apply the remedy from the same lips, that inflicted the wounds.”
“Go first and be reconciled with your brother” – Matthew 5:24
REFLECTION – “In heaven there is a mercy that we attain by mercy here on earth… And there are two kinds of almsgiving: one good, the other better. The first consists in offering a morsel of bread to the poor; the other in at once forgiving the brother who has sinned against you. With our Lord’s help let us hasten to put into practice these two kinds of almsgiving that we may be fit to receive eternal pardon and the true mercy that is Christ’s. For He Himself has said: “If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you will not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions” (Mt 6,14-15). And elsewhere the Holy Spirit cries aloud: “Should a man nourish anger against his fellows and expect healing from the Lord? Should a man refuse mercy to his fellows yet seek God’s pardon for his own sins?” (Sir 28,3-4)…
Let us make haste as much as we can and, for as long as we live, to acquire these two kinds of alms and distribute them to others. Then, on the day of judgement, we shall be able to say with full assurance: “Give, Lord, because we have given.” – St Caesarius of Arles (470-543) Bishop and Monk – Sermons to the people no 25
PRAYER – Lord God, true light and creator of light, grant that faithfully following the instructions of Your Son and pondering all that is holy, we may ever live in the splendour of Your presence. By the gifts of the Holy Spirit, may we always be light to our neighbour. Mary, Mother of Love and our loving mother, by your prayers, may we grow in charity and love. We make our prayer through Christ, our Lord amen. SACRED Heart of JESUS, I trust in Thee. 300 Days Indulgence Once a Day – Plenary, Once a month. Raccolta 175 – St Pius X, 19 August 1905; 27 June 1906.
Our Morning Offering – 10 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart”
May Your Heart Dwell Always in our Hearts! By St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor of Charity
May Your Heart dwell always in our hearts! May Your Blood ever flow in the veins of our souls! O sun of our hearts, You give life to all things by the rays of Your goodness! I will not go, until Your Heart has strengthened me, O Lord Jesus! May the Heart of Jesus be the King of my heart! Blessed be God. Amen
Saint of the Day – 19 June – Blessed Bogumilus of Gniezno (c 1135-c 1182) Archbishop of Gniezno, Camaldolese Hermit . Bornin c 1135 bear Dobrow, Poland and died in c 1182 near Uniedow, Poland of natural causes. Also known as Bogimilus, Bogumil Piotr, Bogumilo, Theophilus. Patronage – Archdiocese of Gniezno.
Bogumilus and his twin brother, Boguphalus, were born into a noble family in about 1135 at Dobrów, Poland. They studied in Paris, France. Having completed his studies Bogumilus was Ordained a Priest near Dobrów. His Uncle, who was the Archbishop of Gniezno, made him the Chancellor of Gniezno. Bogumilus succeeded his Uncle as Archbishop of Gniezno in 1167. Bogumilus founded a Cistercian Abbey at Koronowo.
He resigned his See in 1172, possibly due to opposition by his clergy to what they viewed as his excessive strictness. Bogumilus then joined the Camaldolese Hermits at Uniedow, Poland, where he remained until his death. While on his deathbed, Bogumilus saw a vision of the Virgin Mary and Child, surrounded by a throng of angels, who were inviting him to Heaven.
The cult and veneration of Bogumilus began almost immediately after his death, especially in Eastern Poland. Many people prayed for his intercession. When their prayers were answered, many faithful visited his tomb in the Cathedral of Gniezno and it became a place for local pilgrimage. Yet it was not until 1625 that the formal process of Beatification began under the Primate of Poland, Archbishop Maciej Łubieński.
The files were sent to Rome in 1651, however the process was never completed as the Book of Miracles, which was in the hands of a Count, by the name of Sebastian Głębocki, was burned at his Court in Głębokie, Kruszwica. In 1788 a small wooden Chapel dedicated to Bogumilus was built, near Dobrów. The process of Beatification would remain dormant until 1908, when Stanislaw Zdzitowiecki, the Bishop of Kujawy, reactivated the process. On 27 May 1925 Pope Pius XI proclaimed Bogumilus, as Blessed.
Nossa Senhora da Lapa / Our Lady of the Grotto, Sernancelhe, Viseu, Douro, Norte, Portugal, 1498 – 10 June:
In 1498, a mute girl was herding her flock in the hills of Quintela, outside the Town of Sernancelhe in north central Portugal, when she found a Statue of the Virgin and Child in the cleft of a rock. Young Joana made the Statue an object of personal devotion, carrying it back and forth from home, where she made clothes for it, to the hills, where she would set it on a rock, surround it with flowers and pray, while the sheep grazed nearby. Her mother began to feel the “doll” was distracting the girl from her chores and one day threw it in the fireplace. Suddenly Joana spoke, for the first time in her life: “Mother! That’s Our Lady of the Grotto! What are you doing?”The girl grabbed the unburnt image out of the fire. She was cured but her mother’s arm became paralysed! After they both prayed, the mother regained use of her arm. As word spread through the area, people began coming to venerate the Statue, and the Parish Priest suggested moving it to the Church. But three times, the image vanished from the Church, reappearing in its original place between the rocks. So, a Chapel was built there, enclosing the location where Joana found the Statue. People believed that in 982, nuns fleeing the Islamic conqueror Almanzor, had hidden the image there.
Nossa Senhora da Lapa became one of Portugal’s major pilgrimage destinations, attracting devotion from colonies in Brazil and India, as well as from the Portuguese aristocracy. In 1575, Pope Gregory XIII approved the request of King Sebastian to transfer the Shrine to the Society of Jesus. Between 1610 and 1635, the Jesuits rebuilt the Church, decorating the interior with azulejo tilework. Later, they added a college and housing for pilgrims, students and themselves. From the 1700s to the 1900s, the complex changed hands several times, repeatedly taken over by the state then returned to the Church. Since 1929, it has belonged to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lamego.
n addition to the huge boulders within the Sanctuary, another unusual feature of the Shrine is a crocodile hanging from the ceiling (as in the Church of Our Lady of the Cherry Tree in Belgium)—a wooden replica of the long-decayed stuffed skin, which some say a pilgrim brought to thank the Virgin for her help against the beast in India. A more fanciful local story relates that a monstrous lizard menaced a girl who was spinning by hand while watching her flock. After invoking Our Lady of Lapa, she was able to subdue the animal by stuffing its mouth with balls of wool, then lead it home by a thread to be killed and mounted.
Although the Shrine’s fame has been eclipsed by that of Fatima, it still hosts three big pilgrimages annually: on 10 June Portugal Day, on `15 August Feast of the Assumption (preceded by novenas) and on 8 September Feast of Mary’s Birth.
Bl Amata of San Sisto St Amantius of Tivoli St Asterius of Petra St Bardo of Mainz Blessed Bogumilus of Gniezno (c 1135-c 1182) Bishop, Camaldolese Hermit St Caerealis of Tivoli St Censurius of Auxerre St Crispulus of Rome
Bl José Manuel Claramonte Agut Bl Joseph Kugler St Landericus of Novalese St Landericus of Paris Bl Mary Magdalene of Carpi St Maurinus of Cologne St Primitivus of Tivoli St Restitutus of Rome Bl Thomas Green St Timothy of Prusa Bl Walter Pierson St Zachary of Nicomedia — Martyrs of North Africa – 17 saints: A group of seventeen Christians martyred together in North Africa; the only surviving details are two of their names – Aresius and Rogatius. Both the precise location in North Africa and the date are unknown.
Martyrs of the Aurelian Way – 23 saints: A group of 23 martyrs who died together in the persecutions of Aurelian. The only details that survive are three of their names – Basilides, Mandal and Tripos. c.270-275 on the Aurelian Way, Rome, Italy.