Fifth Day: The Spirit of Prayer True devotion was in his mouth and no dishonesty was found upon his lips; he walked with me in integrity and in uprightness and turned many away from evil. (Malachi 2:6)
As an unbridled tongue destroys a spirit of prayer, Dominic loved silence and retirement, that he might dwell with God. His intimate friend, William of Montserrat, said that “Dominic always kept the silence prescribed by the custom and rule of the Order, abstained from idle words and always spoke either of God or to God.”
Dominic considered custody of the senses important and fed his soul constantly with spiritual reading. His books were the Bible and Cassian’s Conferences of the Fathers of the Desert. The Holy Scriptures he always carried and ordered his spiritual children diligently and unceasingly to read them. At dinner one religious used to read aloud, that the souls of all might be fed on the Word of God.
If any man offends not in words, the same is a perfect man. (James 3:2)
Pray for us, blessed father, St. Dominic, That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray:
O most Holy Father St. Dominic,
who always showed yourself loving to all
and never despised, wounded or offended anyone,
obtain for me from our Saviour,
the grace to be severe only to myself
and my evil passions
and always gentle and loving toward my neighbour,
ever like him, pardoning all who injure or offend me.
We pray that we may learn
from our blessed St Dominic,
not to offend with words
neither in our thoughts or verbally
We ask too Holy St Dominic,
that our prayers and yours,
may draw back those
who have lapsed from the one, true faith
and for this our special intention …
(make your request)
Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen
Seventh Day: Honour and Worship as we await Your second coming
Without the Risen Christ, Transfiguration has no meaning. It would appear to be just futile show without a happy ending. But the Resurrection confirms the glory that was shown during the transfiguration and which rightly belongs to Jesus. The glory will be manifested eventually in His second coming for the last judgment.
Let us Pray:
You gave light to the world
when the glory of the Creator shone over You.
You predicted Your coming Glory
in the Resurrection
and the Holy Eucharist,
the eternal promise You made to us all,
to remain with us until the end of time.
We pray for all men and women of good will
that they walk in Your light,
as we worship You in the Holy Mass
and await Your second coming. Amen
O Holy Priest of Ars, your precious remains are contained in a magnificent reliquary, the donation from the priests of France. But this earthly glory is only a very pale image of the unspeakable glory which you are enjoying with God. During the time you were on earth, you used to repeat in your dejected hours, ‘one will rest in the other life.” It is done, you are in eternal peace, and eternal happiness.
I desire to follow you one day. Until then, I hear you saying to me:
“You should work and fight as long as you are in the world.”
Teach me then to work for the salvation of my soul, to spread the good news and good example and to do good towards those around me in order that I will receive the happiness of the Elect with you.
Holy Priest of Ars, I have confidence in your intercession. Pray for me during this novena especially for … (mention silently your special intentions).
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be.
Thought for the Day – 3 August – August the Month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Pope Paul VI said: “Mary offers a calm vision and a reassuring word to the people of our time, torn as we often are between anguish and hope, defeated as we can be by our own limitations and assailed by limitless aspirations, troubled in our minds and divided in our hearts, uncertain as we face the riddle of death, oppressed at times by loneliness, yet yearning for company and fellowship, a prey to boredom and disgust. Mary shows the victory of hope over anguish, of fellowship over solitude, of peace over anxiety, of joy and beauty over boredom and disgust, of eternal vision over earthly perceptions, of life over death.” (cf Marialis Cultus, 57)
Mary offers us a firm eschatological assurance and hope that God is in charge, through His Son, in His Holy Spirit.
Our love of Mary and devotion to her “fits into the only worship that is rightly called Christian, because it takes its origin and effectiveness from Jesus Christ, finds its complete expression in Christ and leads us through Christ in the Holy Spirit to the Father.” (Marialis Cultus, Introduction)
“Do whatever he tells you” (John 2:5) are the last recorded words of Mary in Scripture. It is her message yesterday, today and forever. It is the hallmark of genuine spirituality, Christian behaviour and commitment to her son.
“Ask our Mother Mary, in whose heart we can find repose and peace, Mary who was full of the Holy Spirit, to nurture and foster the growth of the life of Jesus that is present in us by his Holy Spirit, so we can say that we not only belong to Jesus Christ and His Church but that we have become the Body of Christ because Christ lives in us and the love of Christ impels us to stay faithful as trustworthy stewards and disciples through all the competing pressures of life!” (Bishop Peter Ingham )
“The life of Jesus Christ is indelibly engraved upon history;
neither the erosion of time nor the devastating and compounding effects of evil
have been able to erase His influence.
Some people thought He was crazy;
others considered Him a misfit, a troublemaker, a rebel.
He was condemned as a criminal, yet His life and teachings,
reverberate throughout history. He saw things differently
and He had no respect for the status quo.
You can praise Him, disagree with Him, quote Him,
disbelieve Him, glorify Him, or vilify Him.
About the only thing you cannot do is ignore Him
and that is a lesson that every age learns in its own way.
You can’t ignore Jesus because He changed things.
He is the single greatest agent of change in human history.
He made the lame walk, taught the simple, set captives free,
gave sight to the blind, fed the hungry, healed the sick,
comforted the afflicted, afflicted the comfortable and in all of these,
captured the imagination of every generation.
But who is Jesus today? Who is Jesus to you?
Get ready to discover Jesus like you have never known Him.”
“Thus it will be at the end of the age. The angels will go out and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.”…..Matthew 13:49-50
REFLECTION – “Never forget that there are only two philosophies to rule your life: the one of the cross, which starts with the fast and ends with the feast. The other of Satan, which starts with the feast and ends with the headache.” ..― Venerable Fulton J. Sheen
PRAYER – Help me Lord, to listen to Your word and live by it, so that I may be counted among the good ones whom Your angels will choose for eternal happiness. Let me accept the reality of good and evil living side by side in this world. And let me not be scandalised if the situation is not different also within Your Church in this world. Holy Martyrs of Spain , pray for us! Amen
Saints of the Day – 3 August – The Martyrs of the Spanish Civil War 1931-1939
Fifty thousand Spanish people attended the Beatification ceremony of 498 Martyrs, victims of religious persecution in 1930’s Spain. These 498 people were killed only for their faith in Jesus Christ and their ideals, their killing being part of the anti-Catholic plan of the Republican government in power since 1931. The figures of this persecution are beyond comprehension and a complete and hate-filled attack on all Catholics whilst the world watched the violence: 13 Bishops, 4,154 Priests and Seminarians, 2,365 Religious, 283 Nuns and about 4,000 Laymen killed for helping or hiding Nuns or Priests.
As Monsignor Vicente Carcel Orti, the Spanish historian who has been living in Rome for forty years and who worked for the Curia, points out, the Spanish Church did not seek any confrontation with the Republic, but was persecuted in spite of her neutrality. The government persecuted the Church in legislative terms, while Republican extremists used violence against people and things. Anti-clerical violence was unleashed by Freemasons and Communists. Persecution started long before the civil war. According to Monsignor Carcel Orti, the shameful history of the Spanish Republic, a puppet in the hands of the Stalinist regime, has been concealed on account of its follow-up: the long winter of Franco’s dictatorship has, in a way, justified a distorted and mythicized reading of those tragic years.
This not too-long and highly informative interview with the Spanish historian is meant to throw light on this dramatic period in the history of the Spanish Church in order to achieve a better understanding of what is going on in present-day Spain.
Twentieth-century Spain was a nation of Martyrs. What was the political and ideological context in which the persecution of the Church and the martyrdom of believers occurred?
MONSIGNOR VICENTE CARCEL ORTI: It was a slow process which began with a great anticlerical movement in the 19th century. In 19th century Spain the Church was closely linked to the monarchy by means of concordats. Catholicism was, in practice, the state religion, like the Orthodox religion in Greece and Romania and Anglicanism in England. In the 1920’s King Alphonse XIII handed power over to Primo de Rivera, who set up a military dictatorship (we are talking about the age of dictatorships: there was Mussolini in Italy, Stalin in Russia and Hitler in Germany). The military regime, on the one hand, dissolved parliament, trade unions and political parties; on the other hand it ushered in a period of security and economic growth, through public works amongst other things. Unfortunately economic growth came to a sudden halt with the 1929 world crisis. The following year the Republicans won the municipal elections. Thus General Primo de Rivera relinquished his power while the king left the country, though without abdicating. It was under these circumstances that the Republicans seized power on April 14th, 1931, and proclaimed the Republic.
Why did the Republic persecute the Church and Catholic believers?
MSGR VICENTE CARCEL ORTI: The Republicans had built up so much hatred for the monarchy and everything relating to it, the Church included, that, once they seized power, they began to hit their enemies. Their first and easiest target was the Church, being defenseless. The new regime made laws against the Church; in the meantime anarchists, socialists and Communists began to use violence against people and things.
What was the role of Freemasonry in this anti-Catholic campaign?
MSGR VICENTE CARCEL ORTI: Freemasonry played a key role in the anti-Catholic campaign since Freemasons were present in political institutions, in the government and the “Cortes” (the Spanish parliament), where they had at least 183 deputies. Spanish Freemasonry, therefore, played a major role in the making of anti-Catholic laws and in the defamatory campaign against the Church.
What kind of persecution was the Church faced with from 1931 to 1936?
MSGR VICENTE CARCEL ORTI: As historians have ascertained, a growing number of measures against the Catholic Church and religious practice were taken between 1931 and 1936. These oppressive laws aimed at a radical and antidemocratic conception of the separation between Church and State. Numberless examples could be quoted: the Jesuits were dissolved in January 1932; in May 1933 a law against ecclesiastical property deprived the Church of all her possessions, which were handed over to civil authorities; a law was passed against the teaching of religion in schools, and the clergy was forbidden to teach. Violent persecution proper began in 1934 with the “Turon martyrs,” who have already been canonised and many other believers murdered during the Communist Revolution of the Asturias, when priests, religious and seminarians, 37 in all, were killed and 58 churches were burned. After 1936 in all the main cities, cathedrals, religious communities and parish churches were attacked, ransacked and burned. These persecutions aimed at erasing all traces of Catholic tradition in Spain. Hatred for the faith went even beyond murders and found expression in thousands of sacrilegious acts:tabernacles were emptied, consecrated particles were eaten, shot at, strewn in the streets and trodden on; churches were used as stables, altars were demolished, priests and nuns were held at gunpoint in the attempt to force them to recant their faith. Let us remember that persecutions started years before the beginning of the civil war, and the Church could be accused of supporting Franco’s Falangists, referred to as “rebels.”
But wasn’t the Church hostile to the Republican government?
MSGR VICENTE CARCEL ORTI: Spanish bishops recognised the legitimate Republican government from the start. The problem, however, was that the Republican authorities had always been openly hostile to Catholics. After the events of the Asturias, in the summer of 1936, socialists, Communists and anarchists started the most violent persecution in the history of Spain, aimed at the physical elimination of the Church, of both people and things; this persecution lasted until 1939.
Could you quote any figures?
MSGR VICENTE CARCEL ORTI: Albeit incomplete, the figures are impressive: 18 bishops, 4,184 between priests and seminarians, 283 nuns and about 4,000 laymen were killed for helping or hiding priests or nuns. It must be emphasized that in the part of the country occupied by Franco’s troops, no harm was done to the clergy nor were the churches destroyed.
Some critics of Franco say that he had 16 Basque Priests executed?
MSGR VICENTE CARCEL ORTI: It is true that when the nationalist troops entered Bilbao, 16 priests were shot, not because they were priests but for political reasons with other people. I have found the documentary evidence of this along with the witness of the bishop who had asked those priests to refrain from being involved in political activities. Such political activities triggered off Franco’s repression, which also involved 16 priests. When the Pope learned about this, he immediately sent a telegram to Franco, who promised that events like that would never happen again. The martyrdom of priests, however, only occurred in the “red” areas. In addition, the Republicans destroyed churches and monasteries (in my diocese, the diocese of Valencia, over 1000 churches and other sacred buildings were destroyed).
When did the Beatification causes of the Spanish Martyrs begin?
MSGR VICENTE CARCEL ORTI: At the end of the civil war in 1939, the Holy See demanded that all information about the persecution available to parishes and dioceses be collected. Once all the necessary material had been collected, bishops gradually started the diocesan phase of the beatification cases. These cases began in the 1940’s and continued into the 1950’s. At the end of the diocesan phase, all documents were sent to Rome for the “Roman” phase, to be held by the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints. Yet Paul VI stopped the cases, as he thought it would be best to wait until fifty years had passed from those dramatic events. Also, he posed a condition: Spain was to have a democratic government (the military regime was still in power in 1960’s Spain). At the beginning of John Paul II’s pontificate Spain was already a democracy; the Spaniards therefore asked the Pope to proceed with the beatification cases but he did not comply with their request, since fewer than fifty years had passed since the end of the civil war. John Paul II waited until 1987 to celebrate the first beatification case of martyrs who were victims of religious persecution (three Carmelite nuns from Guadalajara). This marked the beginning of the beatifications of our martyrs. On October 18th we celebrated sixteen beatifications, raising 979 martyrs to the altars. As far as I know, the Congregation is now examining another 2000 cases so that 2000 martyrs will probably be beatified in six or seven years’ time.
The Church has sometimes been accused of opening up an old sore with the Beatification of the Martyrs of the civil wa?
MSGR VICENTE CARCEL ORTI: It is a specious dispute with a strong ideological and political orientation. The victims beatified and canoniSed have never been referred to as “martyrs of the civil war,” but victims of religious persecution; the Church has always paid tribute to martyrs of faith and always will. Civil and military institutions commemorate “soldiers killed in war” or “victims of political repression,” both on the Republican and on the Nationalist sides but this doesn’t mean opening up an old sore, even though political parties sometimes clearly exploit past events.
How can these Martyrs become a mark of reconciliation?
MSGR VICENTE CARCEL ORTI: Nowadays the word “martyr” is abused; in common speech it is used in several senses, but its original and most proper use refers to someone suffering or dying for God’s sake, bearing witness to their faith, forgiving and praying for their executioners, as Jesus Christ did on the cross. Others can be called “heroes” or “victims” for various causes, sometimes questionable, but are referred to as “martyrs,” since this word is abused, being extended to those suffering for somebody or something.
“Christian martyrs” have no ideological or political motivation except their faith in God and love of their neighbors. These martyrs never waged or fomented any war; they were never involved in party strife. They brought an everlasting message of peace and love, which lightens our faith and feeds our hope.
The Beatification of these martyrs coincides with the Spanish Parliament’s decision to commemorate the victims of Franco’s regime. Who were they?
MSGR VICENTE CARCEL ORTI: They were people killed in the civil war and in the ensuing wave of repression. This involved the winners’ ideological enemies. Franco’s reaction was violent but did not last too long. Republicans were tried, though by court-martials and documents of these trials have come down to us.
A point must be made: those who fought for the Republic at that time did not fight for freedom or democracy but to set up a regime like the one in power in the Soviet Union. Franco was therefore right when he said that he was making war on Communism. If he had not won, there would have been the Spanish Soviet Union.
All over the world left-wing parties have always idealised the Spanish Republicans and depicted Franco as the incarnation of evil.
MSGR VICENTE CARCEL ORTI: Franco saved the Church from total destruction. Without his intervention the Church would probably have been blotted out. Yet no one knew at the time that he would become a dictator.
Franco also saved Spain from the Second World War.
MSGR VICENTE CARCEL ORTI: This is another very important element. At the end of the civil war, Hitler paid a visit to Franco and asked his permission for the German army to cross Spain as far as Gibraltar (he intended to conquer North Africa and occupy the whole Mediterranean). Franco did not give his consent on the grounds that the country had been devastated by the civil war and could not afford to be involved in another conflict.
Pius XI, who was in contact with Franco, warned him against Hitler (Franco declared himself a Catholic, Hitler was a pagan).
At the end of the Second World War Franco established relations with the U.S.A. and brought his country into the U.N. Spain was recognised by all states. When certain circles demand that the Spanish Church apologise for her relations with Franco’s regime,I therefore ask myself: “What do we have to apologize for? For having ten thousand martyrs?” Such requests are made by the ideological heirs of those who persecuted the Church. They do everything to erase all memories of her martyrdom.
MSGR VICENTE CARCEL ORTI:These requests are only demagogical. In addition, the Spanish Church produced a document many years ago, recognising that mistakes had been made and forgiving her persecutors. In this document it was also pointed out that no other course of action was possible under those circumstances.
Why is the struggle against Franco still a myth to the whole of the Left, a symbol of the fight for democracy against dictatorship?
MSGR VICENTE CARCEL ORTI:Most of the European Left was and is Communist. Since Franco was the only one to defeat Communists on the battlefield, these have reacted by presenting the fight of the International Brigades as the fight for freedom against dictatorship. Unfortunately Communist organizations are the most backward and the most conservative ones nowadays; they are unable to revise their past or make any self-criticism.
Socialist, Communist and Masonic parties are in power in Spain nowadays. They see the Church in the same way as the Republicans who tried to destroy her 70 years ago. Needless to say, nobody kills priests and nuns or burns religious buildings but the Church is perceived as a hindrance to the real progress of Spain and the whole of mankind, as an institution to marginalize and reduce to silence, being the holder of a conservative vision of man, an ideological adversary. Zapatero seems to be willing to create a new world, a new man in Spain.
MSGR VICENTE CARCEL ORTI: This is typical of all left-wing totalitarian regimes. Stalin too intended to create a new man; so did Pol Pot. Freedom is at risk in Spain, as the state is trying to interfere with people’s private lives, to impose a given way of life, to decide how they must bring up their children, etc. It is not enough for laws to be passed by a parliament to be right. As there is only one voice to defend man’s good, attempts are being made to hush it. Yet, whilst politicians are voted into and out of power, the Church remains.
Martyrs Born Various Died 1934, 1936-1939 Venerated in Roman Catholicism Beatified 29 March 1987 1 October 1989 29 April 1990 25 October 1992 10 October 1993 1 October 1995 4 May 1997 10 May 1998 7 March 1999 11 March 2001 by Pope John Paul II 29 October 2005 28 October 2007 23 January 2010 17 December 2011 by Pope Benedict XVI 13 October 2013 1 November 2014 5 September 2015 3 October 2015 21 November 2015 23 April 2016 8 October 2016 29 October 2016 25 March 2017 6 May 2017 21 October 2017 11 November 2017 by Pope Francis Canonised 4 May 2003 in Madrid by Pope John Paul II Feasts – Various
Grant me, O Lord,
to know what I ought to know,
to love what I ought to love,
to praise what delights You most,
to value what is precious in Your sight,
to hate what is offensive to You.
Do not suffer me to judge
according to the sight of my eyes,
nor to pass sentence
according to the hearing
of the ears of ignorant men;
but to discern with a true judgment
between things visible and spiritual,
and above all things,
always to inquire,
what is the good pleasure of Your will. Amen
St Anthony the Roman
St Aspren of Naples
Bl Augustine Gazotich
Bl Benno of Metz
St Euphronius of Autun
Bl Godfrey of Le Mans
Bl Gregory of Nonantula
St Senach of Clonard
St Trea of Ardtree
St Waltheof of Melrose
Martyrs of Vercelli – 4 saints (below)
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HAioTwJ0BMA
BlAndrés Avelino Gutiérrez Moral
Bl Antonio Isidoro Arrué Peiró
Bl Eleuterio Mancho López
Bl Eugenio Remón Salvador
Bl Federico López y López
Bl Francisco Bandrés Sánchez
Bl Geronimo Limón Márquez
Bl Jose Guardiet y Pujol
Bl Patricio Beobide Cendoya
Bl Ricardo Gil Barcelón
Bl Salvador Ferrandis Seguí