Thought for the Day – 14 August – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Very few people are destined to great things by Almighty God.
More of us must offer ourselves in the relatively unimportant walks of life in which we have been placed by Providence.
Only some of the Saints were endowed with exceptional virtues and miraculous powers which attracted the attention and the admiration of the world.
In the normal course of events, Christian perfection must be acquired little by little, through the practice of ordinary virtues and unspectacular good actions.
There is always scope for these.
An upsurge of anger can be suppressed from the motive of the love of God and of our neighbour.
We can behave courteously towards people who are unsympathetic towards us or who offend us by their unmannerly conduct.
We can combat pride by acts of humility and egoism by acts of charity.
We can mortify ourselves in speech, in behaviour and at table and, we can give alms to the poor, good advice to the ignorant and comfort to the afflicted.
All these virtuous actions are insignificant in the eyes of men but, they are great in the sight of God.
The blades of grass and the flowers in the meadow are tiny things but, joined together, they constitute the pasture which provides nourishment for the herds and the flocks.
Let us perform these small actions everyday and so cultivate the ordinary virtues.
We shall attract the attention and favour of God, Who, will help us to advance, step-by-step, towards the peak of Christian perfection.”
Quote/s of the Day – 14 August – The Memorial of Blessed St Maximillian Kolbe OFM Conv (1894 -1941)
“If angels could be jealous of men, they would be so, for one reason: HOLY COMMUNION.”
“Let us remember, that love lives through sacrifice and is nourished by giving. Without sacrifice, there is no love.”
“When we dedicate ourselves to Mary, we become instruments in her hands, just as she is an instrument in God’s hands. Let us then be guided by her, for she will provide for the needs of body and soul and overcome all difficulties and anxieties.”
“Jesus honoured her before all ages and will honour her for all ages. No-one comes to Him, nor even near Him, no-one is saved or sanctified, if he too will not honour her. This is the lot of Angels and of men.”
“Modern times are dominated by Satan and will be more so in the future. The conflict with hell cannot be engaged by men, even the most clever. The Immaculata alone, has from God, the promise of victory over Satan. However, assumed into Heaven, the Mother of God now requires our co-operation. She seeks souls, who will consecrate themselves entirely to her, who will become in her hands effective instruments for the defeat of Satan and the spreading of God’s kingdom upon earth.”
‘And the two shall become one flesh’ … Matthew 19:5
REFLECTION – “Lord our God,
look with kindness on N. and N.,
whom You have united in marriage,
and pour out Your blessings upon them,
may they be united in one love
as they progress together
towards one holiness of life.
May they rejoice to share in Your creative love
and bring up their children together.
May they live in justice and charity,
showing Your light to all who seek You.
May their household be ever open to the service of their brothers and sisters and may they be always ready to answer to their needs.
May they be strengthened by the joys and sacrifices of their life together and bear witness to the Gospel.
May they have a long life together, without misfortune or sickness
and may the work of both be blessed.
May they see their children grow up in peace
and enjoy the support of a happy family.
May they come at last, with all those who have gone before them,
to the dwelling where their love will last eternally.
N. and N. and all you who are present here,
may God the all-powerful bless you,
the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.” … The Roman Missal – Ritual of Marriage : Solemn blessing
PRAYER – Almighty Father, let Your light so penetrate our hearts and minds, that walking by Your commandments, we may always follow You, our teacher and our guide. Grant that the prayers of St Maximillian Kolbe may continue to strengthen us. Through Jesus our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 14 August – Friday of the Nineteenth week in Ordinary Time
Thank You, Jesus By Cardinal Nicholas Cusa (1401-1464)
Thank You, Jesus,
for bringing me this far.
In Your light, I see the light of my life.
Your teaching is brief and to the point,
You persuade us to trust in God,
You command us to love one another.
You promise everything,
to those who obey Your teaching,
You ask nothing too hard for a believer,
nothing a lover can refuse.
Your promises to Your disciples are true,
nothing but the truth.
Even more, You promise us Yourself,
the perfection of all
that can be made perfect.
Saint of the Day – 14 August – Saint Eusebius of Rome (Died 357) Priest, Confessor – birth date and place unknown and died in 357 of maltreatment in prison in Rome, Italy.
St Eusebius was a Roman Patrician and Priest and is mentioned with distinction in Latin Martyrologies. The ancient Martyrology of Usuard styles him Confessor at Rome under the Arian Emperor Constantius and adds, that he was buried in the cemetery of Callistus. Some later Martyrologies call him a martyr.
Saint Eusebius, among the Christians of his time, distinguished himself by his spirit of prayer and his apostolic virtues. The “Acta Eusebii”, discovered in 1479 tells the history of his arrest – When Pope Liberius was permitted by Constantius II to return to Rome, supposedly at the price of his orthodoxy, by subscribing to the Arian formula of Sirmium, Eusebius, a Priest, an ardent defender of the Nicene Creed, publicly preached against both Pope and Emperor, branding them as heretics. When the orthodox party who supported the rival and orthodox Pope Felix, were excluded from all the Churches, Eusebius continued to say Mass in his own house. He was arrested and brought before Liberius and Constantius and boldly reproved Liberius for deserting the Catholic faith. In consequence he was placed in a dungeon four feet wide, where he spent his time in prayer and died after seven months.
His body was buried in the cemetery of Callistus with the simple inscription: “Eusebio homini Dei.” This act of mercy was performed by two Priests, Gregory and Orosius, friends of Eusebius. Gregory was put into the same prison and also died there. He was buried by Orosius, who professes to be the writer of the “Acta Eusebii”.
The Church of St Eusebius on the Equiline in Rome is dedicated to him and is said to have been built on the site of his house. It is mentioned in the acts of a Council held in Rome under Pope Symmachus in 498 (Manai, VIII, 236-237) and was rebuilt by Pope Zacharias. It is a titular Church of the Cardinal-priest and the Station Church for the Friday after the fourth Sunday in Lent. It once belonged to the Celestines (an order now extinct). Pope Leo XII gave it to the Jesuits. A masterful artwork picture representing the triumph of Eusebius, by Anton Raphael Mengs, 1759 is on the ceiling, see above.
Bl Aimo Taparelli
St Antony Primaldo St Arnold/Arnulf of Soissons (1040-1087) Biography: https://anastpaul.com/2019/08/14/saint-of-the-day-14-august-saint-arnold-of-soissons-1040-1087/
St Athanasia of Timia
St Callistus of Todi
St Demetrius of Africa
St Domingo Ibáñez de Erquicia
St Eberhard of Einsiedeln
St Eusebius of Palestine St Eusebius of Rome (Died 357) Priest
St Fachanan of Ross
St Francisco Shoyemon
Bl Juliana Puricelli
St Marcellus of Apamea
Bl Sanctes Brancasino
St Ursicius of Nicomedia
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War: 11 Beati
• Blessed Ángel de la Red Pérez
• Blessed Antonio María Martín Povea
• Blessed Basilio González Herrero
• Blessed Ezequiél Prieto Otero
• Blessed Joaquín Frade Eiras
• Blessed Jocund Bonet Mercadé
• Blessed José García Librán
• Blessed Ricardo Atanes Castro
• Blessed Segundo Pérez Arias
• Blessed Vicente Rubiols Castelló
Thought for the Day – 13 August – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“The view has been expressed, that almsgiving is useless and degrading.
It is useless, it has been said because, the implementation of social justice should be sufficient to provide for the needs of everybody and, it is degrading, it has been held because, it places the poor man in a position of inferiority to the rich man and makes him beg for that which is really his right.
This is a false line of reasoning.
Social justice can and should, do a great deal to achieve a more equal distribution of wealth among men.
But social justice cannot do everything.
Until the end of the world, the weak will always succumb in the battle of life, before the energy and enterprise of the strong.
There will always be unfortunates who, by reason of some tragic accident, are unable to fend for themselves.
No matter what form it takes, the State will not be able to provide fully for the disabled and infirm.
There will always be plenty of scope for Christian charity, which does not proceed with the measured stride of justice but with the swift wings of the love of God.
It seeks out sorrows which need to be assuaged and wants, which need to be relieved.
There will always be suffering and want upon earth. “The poor you have always with you,” (Mt 26:11) Jesus has told us.
It cannot be said that almsgiving is degrading because it makes the receiver inferior to the giver.
This may be so, if alms are given from motives of mere philanthropy.
But when almsgiving is accompanied by charity and understanding and the donor sees, in the poor man, the person of Jesus Christ, there is no difference of status between the two individuals.
They are brothers who wish to love and help one another …
In this case, it is more blessed to give than to receive.
Christian almsgiving is the fulfilment of an obligation and is a source of merit for the giver.
As for the receiver, not only are his wants relieved but, he is the means by which his wealthier brother can acquire merit and fulfil his obligations.”
Quote/s of the Day – 13 August – The Memorial of St Maximus the Confessor (c 580-662) Father of the Church
“For indeed, what is more dire than the evils which today afflict the world? … What is more terrible for the discerning than the unfolding events? What is more pitiable and frightening for those who endure them? To see a barbarous people of the desert overrunning another’s lands as though they were their own, to see civilisation itself, being ravaged by wild and untamed beasts whose form alone is human.”
“All the ends of the inhabited world … look directly to the most holy Church of the Romans and her confession and faith as to a sun of eternal light, receiving from her, the radiant beam of the patristic and holy doctrines.”
“Since He causes the darkness of ignorance and the evil of men to vanish, my Saviour and my God is called a lamp in Scripture. And since He is the only one able to obliterate the darkness of ignorance and disperse the shadows of sin, He has become the way of salvation for all … The lampstand is holy Church because the Word of God shines out through her preaching. This is how the beams of its truth can enlighten the whole world…”
“To harbour no envy, no anger, no resentment against an offender is still not to have charity for him. It is possible, without any charity, to avoid rendering evil for evil. But to render, spontaneously, good for evil – such belongs to a perfect spiritual love.”
“He who busies himself with the sins of others, or judges his brother on suspicion, has not yet even begun to repent or to examine himself so as to discover his own sins…”
“We adore one Son, together with the Father and the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning before all time, is now and ever shall be, for all time and for the time after time. Amen!”
Saint Maximus the Confessor (c 580-662)
Father of the Church
“Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant, as I had pity on you?” …Matthew 18:33
REFLECTION – ““What is human mercy like? It makes you concerned for the hardship of the poor. What is divine mercy like? It forgives sinners…
In this world God is cold and hungry in all the poor, as He Himself said (Mt 25:40)… What sort of people are we? When God gives, we want to receive, when He asks, we refuse to give? When a poor man is hungry, Christ is in need, as He said Himself: “I was hungry and you gave me no food” (v. 42). Take care not to despise the hardship of the poor, if you would hope, without fear, to have your sins forgiven…
What He receives on earth He returns in heaven.
I put you this question, dearly beloved – what is it you want, what is it you are looking for, when you come to church? What indeed if not mercy? Show mercy on earth and you will receive mercy in heaven. A poor man is begging from you and you are begging from God, he asks for a scrap, you ask for eternal life… And so when you come to church give whatever alms you can to the poor in accordance with your means.” … St Caesarius of Arles (470-543) – Sermon 25
PRAYER – Lord God, who bestowed Your spirit of truth and of love in full measure onthe blessed Saint Maximus, grant that we, who are celebrating his feast, may be supported by his prayer and grow in perfection, as we follow his example. We make our prayer through Christ, our Lord in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 13 August – “Month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary” – Thursday of the Nineteenth week in Ordinary Time and the Feast of Our Lady, Refuge of Sinners
Shelter Me Under Your Mantle Refuge of Sinners By St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) Most Zealous Doctor
Most holy Virgin Immaculate, my Mother Mary,
to you who are the Mother of my Lord,
the Queen of the Universe, the Advocate,
the hope, the refuge of sinners,
I, who am the most miserable of all sinners,
have recourse this day.
I venerate you, great Queen
and I thank you for the many graces
you have bestowed upon me even unto this day,
in particular for having delivered me from the hell
which I have so often served by my sins.
I love you, my dearest Lady
and because of that love,
I promise to serve you willingly forever
and to do what I can,
to make you loved by others also.
I place in you all my hopes for salvation,
accept me as your servant
and shelter me under your mantle,
you who are the Mother of Mercy.
And since you are so powerful with God,
deliver me from all temptations,
or at least obtain for me the strength
to overcome them until death.
From you I implore a true love for Jesus Christ.
Through you I hope to die a holy death.
My dear Mother, by your love for Almighty God,
I pray you to assist me always
but most of all, at the last moment of my life.
Forsake me not then,
until you shall see me safe in heaven,
there to bless you
and sing of your mercies through all eternity.
Such is my hope.
Saint of the Day – 13 August – Saint Maximus the Confessor (c 580-662) Father of the Church, Monk, Abbot, Theologian, Confessor, Scholar, Writer – born in c 580 at Constantinople (some accounts say Palestine) and died on 13 August 662 at Batum near the Black Sea of the extreme suffering caused by the tortures he underwent at the age of 82. Also known as St Maximus of Constantinople and St Maximus the Theologian. St Maximus, a man of fearless courage in witnessing to – “confessing” – even while suffering, the integrity of his faith in Jesus Christ, true God and true man, Saviour of the world and of His Holy Catholic Church.
“All the ends of the inhabited world … look directly to the most holy Church of the Romans and her confession and faith as to a sun of eternal light, receiving from her, the radiant beam of the patristic and holy doctrines.”
St Maximus was born in Constantinople around the year 580 and died in exile on 13 August 662. As a boy he was initiated to the monastic life and the study of the Scriptures through the works of Origen, the great teacher who by the third century had already “established” the exegetic tradition of Alexandria.
He worked with Pope Martin I against the Monothelist heresy and attended the Lateran Council of 649. He was one of the chief doctors of the theology of the Incarnation and of ascetic mysticism and remarkable as a witness to the respect for the papacy held by the Greek Church in his day.
This great man came from a noble family of Constantinople. He became first secretary to Emperor Heraclius, who greatly valued him but despite the favour of the Emperor, Maximus resigned to the world and gave himself up to contemplation in a Monastery at Chrysopolis, near Constantinople. He became Abbot there – but seems to have left this retreat on account of it’s insecurity from hostile attacks.
“He was distinguished by his extreme courage in the defence of orthodoxy. Maximus refused to accept any reduction of Christ’s humanity. A theory had come into being, which held that there was only one will in Christ, the divine will. To defend the oneness of Christ’s Person, it was denied that He had his own true and proper human will. And, at first sight, it might seem to be a good thing that Christ had only one will. But St Maximus immediately realised that this would destroy the mystery of salvation, for humanity without a will, a man without a will, is not a real man but an amputated man. Had this been so, the man Jesus Christ would not have been a true man, He would not have experienced the drama of being human which consists, precisely, of conforming our will with the great truth of being.
Thus St Maximus declared, with great determination – “Sacred Scripture does not portray to us, an amputated man with no will but rather true and complete man – God, in Jesus Christ, really assumed the totality of being human – obviously with the exception of sin – hence also a human will.” And said like this, his point is clear – Christ either is or is not a man. If He is a man, He also has a will.”
St Maximus was already having problems defending this vision of man and of God. He was then summoned to Rome. In 649 he took an active part in the Lateran Council, convoked by Pope Martin I to defend the two wills of Christ against the Imperial Edict which forbade discussion of this matter. Pope Martin was made to pay dearly for his courage. Although he was in a precarious state of health, he was arrested and taken to Constantinople. Tried and condemned to death, the Pope obtained the commutation of his sentence into permanent exile in the Crimea, where he died on 16 September 655, after two long years of humiliation and torment.
It was Maximus’ turn shortly afterwards, in 662, as he too opposed the Emperor, repeating: “It cannot be said that Christ has a single will!” (cf. PG 91, cc. 268-269). Thus, together with his two disciples, both called Anastasius, Maximus was subjected to an exhausting trial, although he was then over 80 years of age. The Emperor’s tribunal condemned him with the accusation of heresy, sentencing him to the cruel mutilation of his tongue and his right hand – the two organs through which, by words and writing, Maximus had fought the erroneous doctrine of the single will of Christ. In the end, thus mutilated, the holy monk was finally exiled to the region of Colchis on the Black Sea where he died, worn out by the suffering he had endured, at the age of 82, on 13 August that same year, 662.
St Maximus died for orthodoxy and obedience to Rome. He has always been considered one of the chief theological writers of the Greek Church and has obtained the honourable title of the Theologian. He may be said to complete and close the series of patristic writings on the Incarnation, as they are summed up by St John of Damascus.
We have over 90 published works of St Maximus on mysticism, dogma, and theology. St Maximus the Confessor’s work on Cosmic Liturgy has been greatly praised as is his Life of the Virgin which is thought to be, one of the oldest biographies of Mary the Mother of God.
“We adore one Son together with the Father and the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning before all time, is now and ever shall be, for all time and for the time after time. Amen!” (St Maximus)
Our Lady, Refuge of Sinners/Refugium Peccatorum: St John Damascene calls Mary a city of refuge to all who flee to Her.
Blessed Antonio Baldinucci SJ (1665-1717) had a particular devotion to the Refugium Peccatorum image of Virgin Mary in the Church of the Gesu (Frascati) in Italy and commissioned a copy which he considered miraculous and carried it with him in his travels. The Jesuits spread copies of the image of the Madonna of Refuge in Mexico by the 19th century and it began to be depicted in missions there, often with clouds surrounding the lower portion of the image of the Virgin Mary holding the Child Jesus.
The term “Refugium Pstjohnberchmanseccatorum” is also used other works of Roman Catholic Marian art. For instance, there is a marble statue representing the Virgin Mary, on the grand staircase of the old municipal palace in Venice, Italy. The name came from the fact that the convicts were allowed to stop in front of the Virgin Mary’s statue to pray for their soul on the way to the scaffold.
The traditional feast day of Our Lady, Refuge of Sinners is today, 13 August.
St Nerses Glaietsi
St Patrick O’Healy
Bl Pierre Gabilhaud
St Wigbert of Fritzlar
Bl William Freeman
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
• Blessed Francesc Castells Areny
• Blessed Inocencio García Díez
• Blessed José Bonet Nadal
• Blessed José Boher y Foix
• Blessed José Juan Perot y Juanmarti
• Blessed Jose Tàpies y Sirvant
• Blessed Josep Alsina Casas
• Blessed Luciano Hernández Ramírez
• Blessed Maria de Puiggraciós Badia Flaquer
• Blessed Mateo Despóns Tena
• Blessed Modesto García Martí
• Blessed Pascual Araguàs y Guàrdia
• Blessed Pedro Martret y Molet
• Blessed Silvestre Arnau y Pascuet
Martyred Claretians of Barbastro – 51 beati:
• Blessed Agustín Viela Ezcurdia
• Blessed Alfons Miquel Garriga
• Blessed Alfons Sorribes Teixidó
• Blessed Antolín Calvo y Calvo
• Blessed Antoni Dalmau Rosich
• Blessed Atanasio Vidaurreta Labra
• Blessed Eduardo Ripoll Diego
• Blessed Esteve Casadevall Puig
• Blessed Eusebi Maria Codina Millà
• Blessed Felipe de Jesús Munárriz Azcona
• Blessed Francesc Roura Farró
• Blessed Francisco Castán Meseguer
• Blessed Gregorio Chirivas Lacamba
• Blessed Hilario Llorente Martín
• Blessed Jaume Falgarona Vilanova
• Blessed Joan Baixeras Berenguer
• Blessed Joan Codinachs Tuneu
• Blessed José Amorós Hernández
• Blessed José Blasco Juan
• Blessed José Figuero Beltrán
• Blessed José Pavón Bueno
• Blessed Josep Maria Badía Mateu
• Blessed Josep Ormo Seró
• Blessed Josep Ros Florensa
• Blessed Juan Díaz Nosti
• Blessed Juan Echarri Vique
• Blessed Juan Sánchez Munárriz
• Blessed Leoncio Pérez Ramos
• Blessed Lluís Escalé Binefa
• Blessed Lluís Lladó Teixidor
• Blessed Lluís Masferrer Vila
• Blessed Manuel Buil Lalueza
• Blessed Manuel Martínez Jarauta
• Blessed Manuel Torras Sais
• Blessed Miquel Masip González
• Blessed Nicasio Sierra Ucar
• Blessed Pedro García Bernal
• Blessed Pere Cunill Padrós
• Blessed Rafael Briega Morales
• Blessed Ramon Illa Salvia
• Blessed Ramon Novich Rabionet
• Blessed Salvador Pigem Serra
• Blessed Sebastià Riera Coromina
• Blessed Sebastián Calvo Martínez
• Blessed Secundino Ortega García
• Blessed Teodoro Ruiz de Larrinaga García
• Blessed Tomàs Capdevila Miró
• Blessed Wenceslau Clarís Vilaregut
They were martyred on 2 August through 18 August 1936 in Barbastro, Huesca, Spain and Beatified on 25 October 1992 by Pope John Paul II.
Thought for the Day – 12 August – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Instead of examining their own consciences in the presence of God, there are many people who are always prepared to judge the thoughts and actions of others.
Do you belong to this category?
Reflect for a while on the words of the Gospel.
“Do not judge,” said Christ, “that you may not be judged. For with what judgement you judge, you shall be judged and with what measure you measure, it shall be measured to you. But why do you see the speck in your brother’s eye and yet, do not consider the beam in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, “let me cast out the speck from your eye” and behold, there is a beam in your own eye? You hypocrite, first cast out the beam from your own eye and then, you will see clearly to cast out the speck from your brother’s eye” (Mt 7:1-5).
These severe words condemn rash judgements; they also impose on us, the obligation of correcting our own faults, rather than censuring those of others.
We are warned, moreover, that if we judge others harshly, the Divine Judge will treat us with equal severity.
A judgement is rash when it is formed without any sure basis and without necessity.
It is a difficult thing to penetrate the secrets of the human heart and conscience.
Only God can do it with absolute certainty.
St Bernard remarked, that anyone who judges others rashly, is usurping a right which belongs to Almighty God.
How can we possibly guess at the motives and intentions of our fellow-men?
It is fairer and kinder to be ready to excuse our fellow-men and to appreciate their good qualities.
We should leave it to God to judge their deficiencies and occupy ourselves with making amendment for our own sins.”
Quote/s of the Day – 12 August – The Memorial of St Jane Frances de Chantal (1572-1641)
“Hold your eyes on God and leave the doing to Him. That is all the doing, you have to worry about.”
“Follow your own way of speaking to our Lord, sincerely, lovingly, confidently and simply, as your heart dictates.”
“In prayer one must hold fast and never let go, because the one who gives up, loses all. If it seems that no-one is listening to you, then cry out even louder. If you are driven out of one door, go back in by the other.”
“Suffering borne in the will, quietly and patiently, is a continual, very powerful prayer before God.”
“The great method of prayer is to have none. If, in going to prayer, one can form in oneself, a pure capacity for receiving the spirit of God, that will suffice for all method.”
“In prayer, more is accomplished by listening than by talking.”
“Must you continue to be your own cross? No matter which way God leads you, you change everything into bitterness by constantly brooding over everything. For the love of God, replace all this self-scrutiny, with a pure and simple glance at God’s goodness.”
“Hell is full of the talented but Heaven, of the energetic.”
“Whatever you bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven and whatever you loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven.” … Matthew 18:18
REFLECTION – “For our well-being and salvation, all the Holy Scriptures warn us constantly and humbly, to confess our sins, not only before God but also before a holy and godfearing man. This is what the Holy Spirit advises us to do through the mouth of James the apostle: “Confess your sins to one another and pray for one another that you may be healed” (5:16) … and the psalmist says: “I confess my faults to the Lord and you took away the guilt of my sin” (Ps 32:5).
We are always wounded by our sins and, in the same way, we should always have recourse to the medicine of confession. For indeed, if God wants us to confess our sins, it is not because He would be unable to know what they are but, because the devil wants to find something of which to accuse us before the judgement seat of the eternal Judge. That is why he would rather we thought more about excusing them than accusing ourselves of them. Our God, to the contrary, being good and merciful, wants us to confess them in this world, so that we may not be ashamed because of them in the next. So if we confess them then He, on His part, shows Himself to be merciful; if we acknowledge them then He forgives … As for ourselves, my brethren, we are really your spiritual physicians, seeking with all concern to heal your souls.” … St Caesarius of Arles (470-543) Bishop and Monk – Sermons to the laity, no. 59
PRAYER – Lord, You chose St Jane Frances to serve You, both in marriage and in religious life. By her prayers help us to be faithful in our vocation and always to work against our perverse inclinations. Only in You and with You and through You may we attain perfection. Lead us Lord! We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. St Jane de Chantal, pray for us, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 12 August – Wednesday of the Nineteenth week in Ordinary Time and the Memorial of St Jane Frances de Chantal VHM (1572-1641)
Prayer of Abandonment By St Jane Frances de Chantal (1572-1641)
O sovereign goodness
of the sovereign Providence of my God!
I abandon myself forever to Thy arms.
Whether gentle or severe,
lead me henceforth whither Thou will.
I will not regard the way
through which Thou will have me pass
but keep my eyes fixed upon Thee,
my God, who guides me.
My soul finds no rest without the arms
and the bosom of this heavenly Providence,
my true Mother, my strength and my rampart.
Therefore I resolve with Thy Divine assistance,
0 my Saviour,
to follow Thy desires and Thy ordinances,
without regarding or examining
why Thou does this rather than that
but I will blindly follow Thee,
according to Thy Divine will,
without seeking my own inclinations.
Hence I am determined to leave all to Thee,
taking no part therein,
save by keeping myself in peace in Thy arms,
desiring nothing, except as Thou incites me to desire,
to will, to wish.
I offer Thee this desire, 0 my God,
beseeching Thee to bless it.
I undertake all it includes,
relying on Thy goodness,
liberality and mercy,
with entire confidence in Thee,
distrust of myself,
and knowledge of my infinite misery and infirmity.
Saint of the Day – 12 August – St Pedro del Barco (1088-1155) – Hermit, Penitent, Canon, Apostle of the needy, he is regarded as the father of the agricultural industry in Avila – born in 1088 in Ávila, Spain and died on 1 November 1155 of natural causes.
Born in the late eleventh century into a peasant family, his existence is known through popular and local legends that acquired written support in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, such as the Epilogue of things worthy of memory belonging to the illustrious , very magnificent and very noble city of Ávila, by Gonzalo de Ayora, published in 1519, or Las Grandezas, antiquity and nobility of Barco de Ávila and its origin , by Luis Álvarez, which was published in Madrid in 1625.
Some traditions consider him to be born in a house in Barco de Ávila that is on the corner of the cemetery of the Church of the Ascension and which has hosted, since 1663, a Chapel built by order of the magistrate Juan Antonio Mangíbar.
It is said that when his father died, he withdrew, together with his friend, Saint Pascual de Barco de Ávila (also born in Tormellas), to a forest near Barco de Ávila to lead the life of a penitent, alternating work and prayer in uninterrupted prayer. Pity for the poverty of the local people, he dismantled a mountainous massif, in one of whose caves he lived and transformed it into a plain suitable for cultivation, creating a fertile space in which the natives of the place could grow beans and other crops for their maintenance. This enterprise, granted him the title of Father of the Land in his region.
This saint, digger of new lands won from the forests and mountains, lived chained to shackles and ate bread in a wooden bowl. Tradition says that he preached to the birds and other animals of the forest who paid homage to him, his work companions being two roe deer that helped him in his work. He took pity on a gypsy woman who had been a prostitute and, repentant, wanted to enter a convent in Ávila, for which she sold part of her land in order to be able to endow her.
The Bishop of Segovia, Pedro de Agen, appointed him Canon of the Cathedral of Segovia and commissioned him, together with Íñigo Navarrón, a teacher in Theology, to govern the house and farm of Párraces, where a Convent of Canons regular was founded, under the invocation of the Blessed Virgin and governed by the Rule of St Benedict. Saint Pedro lived there until the death of the Bishop and the appointment of Navarrón as Bishop of Coria.
He returned to Barco de Ávila in 1149 to end his days as a Hermit and Penitent. One day, as an old man, while ploughing a field, he asked a boy to bring him water from a nearby spring. The fountain, called St Pedro, is a pilgrimage site for the people of Barco de Ávila, just like his hut, which was transformed into a Hermitage in 1490.
Upon his death, which occurred on 1 November 1155, the inhabitants of the towns in which he had preached, disputed the possession of his body – Piedrahita, Horcajada, Segovia, Párraces, Barco de Ávila and Ávila.
Unable to reach an agreement, they loaded a blind mule with the body of the Saint and left it to the mule’s will to determine the place where he should be buried.
The mule headed towards Ávila and, upon reaching the Romanesque Church consecrated to Saints Vicente, Sabina and Cristeta, located outside the city walls, it entered the interior of the temple, went to the south arm of the transept and struck with its hoof on the ground to mark a stone slab with his footprint and thus transmit the divine will, designating the place where his relics should rest.
At present, Saint Pedro del Barco de Ávila has an Altar and sepulchre in the south arm of the transept of the Church of San Vicente, a place where the footprint of the mule is also preserved, protected by a wrought iron fence. The first document that confirms the ownership of the Church as dedicated to the saints Vicente, Sabina, Cristeta and Pedro del Barco de Ávila, dates from the reign of Fernando III el Santo and is dated in 1252.
He is represented dressed in a black Benedictine habit, white hair and beard, with a wrinkled face, carrying a book with the Rule of Saint Benedict of Nursia and farming instruments in his hands or feet. Sometimes he is accompanied by a deer or a mule.
St Macarius of Syria
St Micae Nguyen Huy My
St Murtagh of Killala
St Photinus of Marmora St Pedro del Barco (1088-1155)
Bl Pierre Jarrige de la Morélie de Puyredon
St Porcarius of Lerins
St Simplicio of Vercelli
Martyrs of Augsburg – 4 saints: The mother, Hilaria, and three friends of of Saint Afra of Augsburg. While visiting the tomb of Saint Afra who were seized by the authorities and martyred when they visited Afra’s tomb – Digna, Eunomia, Euprepia and Hilaria. They were burned alive c 304.
Martyrs of Rome – 5 saints: A group of Christians martyred together in the persecutions of Diocletian. We know little more than their names – Crescentian, Juliana, Largio, Nimmia and Quiriacus.
• c.304 in Rome, Italy
• buried on the Ostian Way outside Rome.
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
• Blessed Antoni Perulles Estivill
• Blessed Atilano Dionisio Argüeso González
• Blessed Carles Barrufet Tost
• Blessed Buenaventura García-Paredes Pallasá
• Blessed Carles Barrufet Tost
• Blessed Domingo Sánchez Lázaro
• Blessed Enrique María Gómez Jiménez
• Blessed Félix Pérez Portela
• Blessed Gabriel Albiol Plou
• Blessed José Jordán Blecua
• Blessed Josep Nadal Guiu
• Blessed Juana Pérez Abascal
• Blessed Manuel Basulto Jiménez
• Blessed Manuel Borràs Ferré
• Blessed Pau Figuerola Rovira
• Blessed Pedro José Cano Cebrían
• Blessed Perfecto Del Río Páramo
• Blessed Ramona Cao Fernández
• Blessed Vittoria Diaz y Bustos de Molina
and these below:
Martyrs of Barbastro – 6 beati: Six Claretian brothers and priests who were martyred together in the persecutions of the Spanish Civil War.
• Gregorio Chirivas Lacamba
• José Pavón Bueno
• Nicasio Sierra Ucar
• Pere Cunill Padrós
• Sebastián Calvo Martínez
• Wenceslau Clarís Vilaregut
They were martyred on 12 August 1936 in Barbastro, Huesca, Spain and Beatified on 25 October 1992 by Pope John Paul II.
Martyrs of La Torre de Fontaubella – 4 beati: Four parish priests who were murdered together in the persecutions of the Spanish Civil War.
• Antoni Nogués Martí
• Joan Rofes Sancho
• Josep Maria Sancho Toda
• Ramon Martí Amenós
They were martyred on 12 August 1936 in La Torre de Fontaubella, Tarragona, Spain and Beatified on 13 October 2013 by Pope Francis. Their beatification celebrated in Tarragona, Spain.
Martyrs of Puerta de Hierro – 5 beati: Five nun in the Archdiocese of Madrid, Spain, all members of the Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul, and all martyred together in the Spanish Civil War.
• Estefanía Saldaña Mayoral
• María Asunción Mayoral Peña
• María Dolores Barroso Villaseñor
• María Severina Díaz-Pardo Gauna
• Melchora Adoración Cortés Bueno
They were martyred on 12 August 1936 in Puerta de Hierro, Aravaca, Madrid, Spain and Beatified on
27 October 2013 by Pope Benedict XVI.
Thought for the Day – 11 August – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Riches and Poverty
“There is a striking contrast between the luxurious living of wealthy people who waste their money on pleasure and amusement and the abject poverty of those who are without food, clothing and shelter.
This is in complete contradiction of the Gospel message which has proclaimed that we are all brothers.
Extravagance is always self-centred, whereas Christianity, is the creed of love.
Sumptuous living cannot be justified by an appeal to the right to own property, for, it is a shameless betrayal of the Gospel spirit of fraternl charity.
When St Thomas Aquinas is defending the right to private property, he adds at once: “In regard to the use of it, however, a man should not regard material goods as belonging entirely to himself but … should be ready to share them with others in their necessity” (Summa Theologiae, II-II, 1 66, a 2).
If such maxims, which derive their inspiration from the Gospel, were put into practice, there would be neither excessive wealth, nor excessive poverty, in the world today.
It is true, that there would still be poverty but, destitution would disappear.
Poverty is good, in that it makes us detached from worldly things and helps us to think more about the next life.
But, destitution is really a social crime, for it is the result of human egoism and can breed hatred and spiritual degradation.
“Poverty,” writes Péguy, “is decent. It does not dress in rags … It’s dwelling is tidy, healthy and affords a welcome. It can have a change of linen once a week. It is not emaciated nor hungry… It is not good for anyone to live in easy circumstances; on the contrary, it is much better always to feel the goad of necessity …” (La guerre et la paix, p 338).
It was, in this sense, that Jesus blessed the poor and condemned the rich.
He is referring to the poor man who has enough to supply his needs, is detached from worldly possessions, uses his poverty to assist him in his journey towards Heaven and, is happy or, at any rate, content.
But He condemns the rich man who squanders his wealth on selfish amusement and is deaf to the entreaties of those in need.
After twenty centuries of Christianity, the violent contrast still exists in modern society.
If we have any reason to reproach ourselves, let us try now, to make up for our deficiencies.
Quote/s of the Day – 11 August – The Memorial of St Clare of Assisi (1194-1253)
“Our labour here is brief but the reward is eternal. Do not be disturbed by the clamour of the world, which passes like a shadow. Do not let false delights of a deceptive world deceive you.”
“Love God, serve God, everything is in that.”
“Totally love Him, who gave Himself totally, for your love.”
“Love that cannot suffer is not worthy of that name.”
“Happy the soul to whom it is given to attain this life with Christ … For He is the Brightness of eternal glory, the Splendour of eternal light, the Mirror without spot.”
“O blessed poverty, who bestows eternal riches on those who love and embrace her!”
“Never forget that the way which leads to heaven is narrow; that the gate leading to life is narrow and low; that there are but few who find it and enter by it and, if there be some who go in and tread the narrow path for some time, there are but very few who persevere therein.”
“Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”… Matthew 18:3
REFLECTION – “Beside this obvious explanation let another be given as well.
As an act of theological and ethical reflection, let us ask what sort of a child Jesus called to Himself and has set in the midst of the disciples.
Think of it this way – the child called by Jesus is the Holy Spirit, who humbled Himself.
He was called by the Saviour and set in the middle of the disciples of Jesus. The Lord wants us, ignoring all the rest, to turn to the examples given by the Holy Spirit, so that we become like the children — that is, the disciples — who were themselves converted and made like the Holy Spirit. God gave these children to the Saviour according to what we read in Isaiah: “Behold, I and the children whom the Lord has given me.”
To enter the kingdom of heaven is not possible for the person who has not turned from worldly matters and become like those children who had the Holy Spirit.
Jesus called this Holy Spirit to Himself like a child, when He came down from His perfect completeness, to mankind and set it in the middle of the disciples.” … Origen Adamantius (c 185-253) Priest, Theologian, Father – Commentary on Matthew, 13
PRAYER – Holy God, grant we pray, Your Holy Spirit of love and divine grace to grow ever more in faith. By our prayers and love for You and our neighbour, may we merit Your divine assistance. Lord Jesus, help us to dwell often on the manner in which we are following You. Let us strive each day to become more and more like You in all things and, to become beacons of Your Light, to all the world. St Clare of Assisi, you who were a light to all, pray for us, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 11 August – Tuesday of the Nineteenth week in Ordinary Time and The Memorial of St Clare of Assisi(1194-1253)
I Come, O Lord By St Clare of Assisi (1194-1253)
I come, O Lord,
unto Thy sanctuary
to see the life and food of my soul.
As I hope in Thee, O Lord,
inspire me with that confidence
which brings me to Thy holy mountain.
Permit me, Divine Jesus,
to come closer to Thee,
that my whole soul may do homage
to the greatness of Thy majesty,
that my heart,
with its tenderest affections,
may acknowledge Thy infinite love,
that my memory may dwell
on the admirable mysteries
here renewed everyday
and that the sacrifice,
of my whole being,
may accompany Thine.
Saint of the Day – 11 August – St Géry of Cambrai (c 550 – 626) Bishop of Cambrai, Founder of Monateries, Churches and of St Géry Island off Belgium, Géry devoted himself to the fight against paganism, Miracle-worker – born at Trier, Germany and died in 626 of natural cause in Cambrai, Belgium. Also known as Gaugericus, Gaugerico, Gorik, Djèri, Gau. Additional Memorials – 18 November for the exhumation of his relics and 24 September for the translation of his relics. Patronages – prisoners, the healing of lepers and skin diseases, against diseases of cattle, consumption and deformities of the legs, Cambrai and the Archdiocese – in France, Brussels, Braine-le-Comte – in Belgium. From his gift of delivering captives, there is attached, his power to deliver the victims of the demon and the influences of ill-intentioned people. He is also the Patron Saint of many Churches in the regions of Cambrai, Bierne, Valenciennes and Arras, as well as in Belgium.
Géry was born to Roman parents, Gaudentius and Austadiola, at Eposium (present Carignan).
Tradition states that Bishop Magnerich, successor of Saint Nicetas as Bishop of Trie, was so impressed with the piety of the young man that he Ordained him as a Deacon but not before Géry had memorised the entire psalter. Magnerich entrusted Géry with the pastoral care of the city of Cambrai. Géry founded Churches and Abbeys, including a Monastery dedicated to St Medard, to host relics, which contributed powerfully to giving Cambrai both the appearance and functions of a city.
Around the year 580, Géry built a Chapel on the largest island in the Senne near Brussels. Saint-Géry Island is named after him.
When the see of Cambrai-Arras fell vacant around 585, Géry was elected Bishop with the consent of Childebert II. He was consecrated by Egidius, Bishop of Reims. Bishop Géry devoted himself to fighting paganism, ransoming captives and visiting rural districts and villages. He paid his respects to King Chlothar II, the new lord of Cambrai after the death of Childebert. Bishop Géry made a pilgrimage to the tomb of Saint Martin in Tours and assisted at the Council of Paris in 614.
Géry also built a Church dedicated to Saint Martin, where he had relics of this Saint deposited. The steeple of this church was to become, much later, the belfry of the city. Having obtained pieces of the Holy Cross, Géry had a Church built to house them. Finally, he had an Episcopal palace built near his Cathedral. He transferred, between 584 and 590, the Episcopal see from Arras to Cambrai. Géry erected a Chapel (in Saint Michel , later Saints-Michel-et-Gudule Cathedral), which soon became a Church and gave birth to the city of Brussels.
After serving as Bishop for thirty-nine years, he died on 11 August 626 and was buried in the Church of Saint Médard, which he had founded at Cambrai. Veneration commenced immediately after his death. His reliquary is still on display in the south transept of the Saint Géry church in Cambrai.
St Géry is credited with many miracles, the healing of a leper, of a blind man and, during his travels through his Diocese, he freed many prisoners, criminals, children taken into slavery. It is said that he delivered his Diocese from a dragon.
When the Church of Saint Medard was demolished by the Emperor Charles V for the building of the citadel, the canons were removed and took with them, the relics of the Saint, to the old church of Saint Vedast, which from that time, has borne the name of Saint Gery. The Church of Saint Géry is one of the oldest in Cambrai and a listed historical monument since 1919.
His feast day is mentioned in the Martyrology of Blessed Rabanus Maurus for today, 11 August.
St Rusicola of Arles
St Rufinus of Marsi
St Susanna of Rome
St Taurinus of Evreux
Bl Theobald of England and Companion
St Tiburtius of Rome
Bl William Lampley
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War
Bl Armando Óscar Valdés
Bl Benjamín Fernández de Legaria Goñi
Bl Carlos Díaz Gandía
Bl Rafael Alonso Gutiérrez
Bl Ramon Rosell Laboria
Thought for the Day – 10 August – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
A Holy Death
“Now and again, it is useful for Christians to dedicate a day to meditation on the subject of death.
It is useful, because, it is easy to regard our own death as something theoretical and remote, whereas in fact, we ought always to be prepared to die, since it is “at any hour that you do not expect, the Son of Man is coming” (Lk 12:40).
It may be at the hour when we are least expecting it, that God will come to take us and, it will be on our spiritual state at this hour, that our eternity will depend.
We know neither when nor where death will surprise us.
It may be today, it may be in a few years.
It may come suddenly, or maybe after a long illness.
We may be in bed or in the middle of a street, in hospital or at home.
Finally, we may be resigned, comforted by the presence of a Priest and by the reception of the last sacraments, or we may be alone and deprived of these consolations.
It is essential, therefore, to be always prepared, fortified by faith, charity and good works.
If we are really prepared, it will not matter when, where, or how death comes, for it will be to us, like the good Sister death of St Francis of Assisi.
It will release us from this corrupt mortal flesh and open to us the gates of everlasting happiness.
Then, we shall fly joyfully into the arms of our Creator and Redeemer, Whom we have tried hard to love and serve.
But, if we are not prepared, what then?
How bitter it will be to have to leave the world to which we have become so attached.
What remorse we shall feel at the remembrance of our innumerable sins, badly confessed and never atoned for and, at the realisation, that we have failed to do so much good we could have done, whereas now, we shall have to appear before the Eternal Judge, with nothing to offer!”
“If anyone serves me, he must follow me and where I am, there will my servant be also.”
“The Lord is near do not be anxious about anything.”
“Let us listen to the Lord: “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life” (Jn 14:6). If you are looking for the Truth, follow the Way which is also the Truth. This is where you are going and it is how you go. It is not by another thing that you go to something; it is not by anything else that you come to Christ; it is through Christ that you come to Christ. How to Christ through Christ? To Christ God through Christ man; through the Word made flesh, to the Word who was with God, from the beginning; through what we have eaten to what the angels eat daily. In fact it is what is written: “He gave them bread from heaven; man ate the bread of angels” (Ps 77:24-25). What is the bread of angels? “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was in God and the Word was God” (Jn 1:1-3). How has man eaten the bread of angels? “And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.”
St Augustine (354-430)
Father and Doctor of Grace
“Day by day follow God’s path, keeping Him closely attached to you by His promise. In fact, He Himself said, through the mediation of His apostles, to all those who seek His will and His testimonies (Ps 118:31 LXX), that He would be with them until the end of the world (Mt 28:20) where paths and footsteps will be unknown (cf, Ps 76:20), as the divine David said in his songs. Yet, in an invisible way, He is present to the eyes of the mind, making Himself seen by those who have a pure heart and conversing with them. So pursue your path …. “
St Theodore the Studite (759-826)
Monk and Theologian at Constantinople
“Jesus is happy to come with us, as Truth is happy to be spoken, as Life to be lived, as Light to be lit, as Love is to be loved, as Joy to be given, as Peace to be spread.”
St Francis of Assisi (1181/2–1226)
“Someone who truly follows the Lord wants everyone to follow Him, which is why He turns to his neighbour with kind attentions, prayers and proclamation of the Gospel. Peter’s turning around, signifies all those things. … Christ, through interior inspiration and the Church, by preaching, says: “Come!” And whoever hears these words says to his neighbour: “Come!” which is to say: “Follow Jesus!” Then Peter, turning round, saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following after. Jesus loves the one who follows Him.”
St Anthony of Padua (1195-1231)
“Do not be afraid! God will show you, to the hour and moment, what you should say and what you should do.”
St Léonie Françoise De Sales Aviat
“The way of the Cross is the only road that leads to Heaven. Consequently, a man who refuses to take this road cannot reach Heaven. … We must ascend our own Calvary, if we wish to imitate and follow Jesus. … Let the Passion of Christ be our rule of life. Let us be glad, when we seem to be more like Him and sorrowful, whenever we seem to be departing from the example which He set us. Suffering should be a source of consolation for us, for it makes us more like Jesus, as long as we endure it with resignation and with love.”
REFLECTION – “Through the glorious achievements of the holy Martyrs with which the Church blossoms everywhere, we are ourselves, proving to our own eyes, how true are the words we have been singing that: “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints” (Ps 116:15). For it is precious both in our sight and in the sight of Him, in whose name the death took place.
But the price of those deaths is the death of one man. How many deaths did that one man purchase by His death, for, if He had not died, the grain of wheat would not be multiplied? You heard His words when He drew near His passion, that is when He was drawing near to our redemption: “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” On the Cross He carried out a vast transaction; there the purse of our price was unfastened and, when His side was opened by the lance of the soldier, there streamed the price for the redemption of the whole earth (cf. Jn 19:34).
Now the faithful ones and Martyrs have been purchased but the faithfulness of the Martyrs has been proved – their blood is the proof … “As Christ laid down his life for us, so we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren” (1Jn 3:16). In another place it is stated: “At a grand table you have sat; now carefully consider what has been put before you, since it is your duty to prepare for such things” (cf. Prv 23:1). That table is great where the Lord of the table is Himself the meal. No-one feeds guests with Himself as food but this is exactly what the Lord Christ does, He, Himself is the host who invites; He, Himself is the food and the drink. Therefore, the Martyrs have recognised what they were eating and drinking so as to be able to repay such gifts. But whence can they make such return unless He who first paid the cost, supplies the source from which restitution may be made? That is the reason for the Psalm, where we sing what is written: “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” ... St Augustine (354-430) Bishop of Hippo (North Africa), St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor – Sermon 329, for the Feast of the Martyrs, 1-2 ; PL 38, 1454
PRAYER – Lord God, You inspired St Lawrence with so ardent a love that his life was renowned for the service of Your people and his death for the splendour of his Martyrdom. Help us to love what he loved and to live as he showed us. St Lawrence, Martyr for Christ and His Church, pray for us. Through our Lord, Jesus Christ, in union with the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever amen.
Our Morning Offering – 10 August – “Month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary” – Feast of Saint Lawrence, Deacon and Martyr
O Mary, my Queen By St Louis de Montfort (1673-1716)
O Mary, my Queen,
I cast myself into the arms of your mercy.
I place my soul and body
in your blessed care
and under your special protection
from this world.
I entrust to you
all my hopes and consolations,
all my anguish and misery,
my life and the end of my life.
Through your most holy intercession
and through your merits,
grant that all my works
may be directed and carried out
in accord with your will
and the will of your divine Son.
Saint of the Day – 10 August – Blessed Arcangelo Placenza da Calatafimi OFM (c 1390-1460), Franciscan Friar, Priest, Hermit, Mystic, Penitent – born in c 1390 in Calatafimi, Sicily, Italy and died on 10 August 1460 in Alcamo, Sicily, Italy of natural causes. Also known as Archangelus Piacentini.
Arcangelo was born at Calatafimi, (province and Diocese of Trapani), in about 1390 to the local noble family of the Placenza.
He was known as a quiet and pious child and thus, it was no surprise, when he left his paternal home and went to live as a hermit in a cave near the Church of Santa Maria dei Giubino in Sicily. Here, he experienced frequent apparitions of the Virgin, who would appear him over a cypress while he was praying.
After the news of the apparitions and miracles spread, the place became increasingly frequented by believers and relatives tried to persuade him to give up his solitary life. But his reputation for holiness spread far and wide and the young hermit attracted would-be spiritual students. In search of peace and tranquillity to focus his soul on meditation, Arcangelo moved to Alcamo, Sicily.
We can run but we always have to take ourselves with us and thus his reputation went with him and he was asked to assist in the restoration of the neglected old hospital of Sant’Antonio. He did and then spent much of his time there caring for the sick. The rest of his time was spent in a cave near the present Church of Holy Mary of Jesus (Alcamo) to pray and do penitence.
However, Pope Martin V, working to restore Papal authority, decreed that all hermits in Sicily should join approved religious orders and so Arcanglo joined the Franciscans in Palermo, receiving the habit from Blessed Matthew of Girgenti.
After becoming a Priest, the Blessed Matteo Guimerà from Agrigento, his immediate superior, gave him the right to open new Convents. Arcangelo returned to the hospital of sant’Antonio in Alcamo, to open a Convent. He was also was elected provincial Vicar of his Order and devoted himself to preaching.
He led both his brothers and the faithful by his example, supported Franciscans throughout Sicily, the Bishopric in Alcamo and spent his last days helping Blessed Matteo.
He lived in the convent of Santa Maria di Gesù in Alcamo (see below) until his death in 1460.
His body is kept in an ebony urn placed above the Altar of Saint Conrad, in the Chiesa di Santa Maria di Gesù.
Pope Gregory XVI proclaimed him blessed, thanks to the many miracles attributed to him, on 9 September 1836.
The figure of Arcangelo Piacentini from Calatafimi is still very much evident and revered in our days, especially in the western areas of Sicily.
St Agathonica of Carthage
St Agilberta of Jouarre Bl Amadeus of Portugal OFM (1420–1482) Biography: https://anastpaul.com/2018/08/10/saint-of-the-day-blessed-amadeus-of-portugal-o-f-m-1420-1482/ Blessed Arcangelo Placenza da Calatafimi OFM (c 1390-1460)
St Aredius of Lyon
St Asteria of Bergamo
Bl Augustine Ota
St Bassa of Carthage
St Bettelin St Blane (Died 590) His Life: https://anastpaul.com/2019/08/10/saint-of-the-day-10-august-st-blane-died-590/
Bl Claude-Joseph Jouffret de Bonnefont
St Deusdedit the Cobbler
Bl Edward Grzymala
Bl Franciszek Drzewiecki
Bl Francois François
Bl Hugh of Montaigu
Bl Lazare Tiersot
St Paula of Carthage
St Thiento of Wessobrunn
Martyrs of Alexandria – 260+ saints: A large number of Christians who died in Alexandria, Egypt between 260 and 267 in the persecutions of Decius and Valerian, whose names have not come down to us and who are commemorated together.
Martyrs of Rome – 165 saints: Group of 165 Christians martyred in the persecutions of Aurelian. 274 in Rome, Italy.
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
• Blessed Antonio González Penín
• Blessed José Toledo Pellicer
• Blessed José Xavier Gorosterratzu Jaunarena
• Blessed Juan Martorell Soria
• Blessed Pedro Mesonero Rodríguez
• Blessed Victoriano Calvo Lozano