Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – The Memorial of St Simplician – 15 August

Thought for the Day – The Memorial of St Simplician – 15 August

“Augustine and Simplician, sons of Milan, followers of Christ”

“Another great name enters Milan’s rich story in 384, that of the man who became St Augustine.   In 384 he was not yet a saint.   But he was a man who was searching, probing and asking questions, testing the spirits that drove him.   First he found Ambrose, who “welcomed me as a father would and like a good bishop approved of my journeying,” according to his Confessions.   Still, he was not ready to accept the Christian faith and way of life.   But Ambrose could not be the spiritual director he needed.

Augustine had gotten through his doctrinal doubts and he “liked the Way, which was our Saviour, though the tight and narrow parts of that way” annoyed him.   So God put it in his mind to go to Simplician, “whom I considered to be your good servant and your grace shone in him.   I heard that since his youth he lived most devoted to you.”   Now he had grown old and to Augustine he seemed to have become a great expert in studying God’s ways.   “And so he was! So I wanted to share with him my inner turmoil so he might teach me how best I, as I was, could walk in your ways.”

That is quite an endorsement!   From one saint-to-be about a wise and holy mentor, guide, companion on the road.   One intently searching, the other guiding that search.   We all need help from time as we make our authentic way.   Maybe it can sound trite, an easy image, our life as a journey or pilgrimage, our walking the camino to a holy goal. But it speaks a deep truth.“…(Fr Edward W Schmidt S.J.)

St Simplician, Sts Augustine & Ambrose, pray for us!

st simplician pray for us 2sts augustine and ambrose pray for us

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS

Quote/s of the Day – 15 August – The Memorial of St Simplicain, Friend and Teacher of St Ambrose and the “spiritual father of my soul” of St Augustine, both Fathers and Doctors of the Church

Quote/s of the Day – 15 August – The Memorial of St Simplicain, Friend and Teacher of St Ambrose and the “spiritual father of my soul” of St Augustine, both Fathers and Doctors of the Church

“Only the “new” person can sing a new song to the Lord:
the person restored from a fallen condition through the grace of God.
Let us sing a new song –
not with our lips
but with our lives!”

St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of the Church

only the new person NO 2 - st augustine


“All the children of the Church are priests.
At Baptism, they received the anointing
that gives them a share in the priesthood.
The sacrifice which they must offer to God
is completely spiritual – it is THEMSELVES!”

St Ambrose (340-397) Father and Doctor of the Church


Posted in CONFESSION/PENANCE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 15 August

One Minute Reflection – 15 August

The Confessions – Book VIII – St Augustine’s Conversion to Christ.   Augustine is deeply impressed by Simplicianus’ story of the conversion to Christ of the famous orator and philosopher, Marius Victorinus.   He is stirred to emulate him but finds himself still enchained by his incontinence and preoccupation with worldly affairs.   He is then visited by a court official, Ponticianus, who tells him and Alypius the stories of the conversion of Anthony and also of two imperial “secret service agents.”   These stories throw him into a violent turmoil, in which his divided will struggles against himself.   He almost succeeds in making the decision for continence but is still held back.   Finally, a child’s song, overheard by chance, sends him to the Bible;  a text from Paul resolves the crisis;  the conversion is a fact.   Alypius also makes his decision and the two inform the rejoicing Monica.

“For I am the LORD, your God,
who grasp your right hand;
It is I who say to you, Do not fear,
I will help you.”….Isaiah 41:13

Isaiah 41 13

REFLECTION – “And Thou didst put it into my mind and it seemed good in my own sight, to go to Simplicianus, who appeared to me a faithful servant of Thine and Thy grace shone forth in him.   I had also been told that from his youth up he had lived in entire devotion to Thee.   He was already an old man and because of his great age, which he had passed in such a zealous discipleship in Thy way, he appeared to me likely to have gained much wisdom–and, indeed, he had.   From all his experience, I desired him to tell me–setting before him all my agitations–which would be the most fitting way for one who felt as I did to walk in thy way.”…St Augustine (From the Confessions – Book VIII – Chapter 1)

st simplician - pray for us

PRAYER – “Go on, O Lord and act: stir us up and call us back;  inflame us and draw us to Thee;  stir us up and grow sweet to us;  let us now love Thee, let us run to Thee.   Are there not many men … who, out of a deeper pit of darkess,.. return to Thee–who draw near to Thee and are illuminated by that light which gives those who receive it power from Thee to become Thy sons? “… (St Augustine – From the Confessions Book VIII – Chapter IV)  St Simplician, pray for us, Amen.

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS

Our Morning Offering – 15 August

Our Morning Offering – 15 August

PRAYER of ST AMBROSE  (340-397) Father and Doctor of the Church

O Lord, who has mercy upon all,
take away from me my sins
and mercifully kindle in me
the fire of Your Holy Spirit.
Take away from me the heart of stone
and give me a heart of flesh,
a heart to love and adore You,
a heart to delight in You,
to follow and enjoy You,
for Christ’s sake. Amen

12_7_ _Saint_Ambrose_1_Francisco_de_Zurbarán

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 15 August – St Simplician of Milan

Saint of the Day – 15 August – St Simplician (Simpliciano) of Milan – Archbishop of Milan, Teacher, Catechist, Writer, Mystic  successor to St Ambrose – (c 320 in Rome, Italy – c 401 in Milan, Liguria, Italy).


St Simplician was born about 320 probably in Rome, was raised in a Christian family and still young he became a Priest.   He became expert in the Holy Scripture and very educated.   In about 355 he took an active part in the conversion to Christianity of the philosopher Marius Victorinus.   When in 374 Ambrose was elected bishop of Milan and baptised, Simplician became his teacher of doctrine.   Ambrose used to call Simplician father, as a sign of spiritual relationship but they were also great friends.   St Simplician remained an advisor to and correspondent with Saint Ambrose.   Probably in this period Simplician moved to Milan where he remained.

Simplician took also an active part in the conversions of both Alypius of Thagaste and Augustine of Hippo.   The meeting between Augustine and Simplican occurred in Milan in 386 and it is recorded in Augustine’s Confessions.   After his conversion, Augustine also called Simplician father and in 397 he dedicated to Simplician two books on the issue of predestination, known as De Diversis Quaestionibus ad Simplicianum.   St Augustine, remembered and referred to him with deep gratitude, calling him the “spiritual father of my soul” and would submit his own writings to him to review and comment.

He also corresponded extensively with Pope Anastasius I and bishops in Africa and Gaul but none of the writings have survived.   St Simplician always wore a black leather belt; following a vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary by Saint Monica, the belt became part of the habit of the Augustinians

On his deathbed, St Ambrose supported Simplician as his own successor, stating that Simplician was “old but good”.   Thus in April 397, the aged Simplician was elected bishop of Milan, at that time capital of the Western Roman Empire.   A very important act of his episcopate was the receipt in Milan of the relics of the three martyrs Sisinnius, Martyrius and Alexander, sent from Trento by the bishop Vigilius.

St Simplician was asked to judge some doctrinal statements by the Council of Carthage (397) and by the First Council of Toledo.   He also consecrated Gaudentius of Novara a bishop and according to the 13th-century writer Goffredo of Bussero, he organised the texts of the Ambrosian liturgy.

His feast day was anciently set on 15 August, together with the feast of the translation to Milan of the relics of Sisinnius, Martyrius and Alexander; so his death was deemed to have been on 15 August 400.

St Simplician was initially buried in the church of Saint Nabor and Felix in Milan and later translated, perhaps on 15 August, to the Basilica Virginum (“Basilica of the Virgins”) which was renamed in his honour; now it is known as Basilica of St Simplician.   The images below are the Basilica, with the Main Altar, Stained Glass windows and the Chapel of the Martyrs of Anaunia, in the Crypt of the Basilica.

St Ambrose began the construction of the Basilica Virginum (“Basilica of the Virgins”), which was finished by his successor Simplician, who is buried there.  A brick with the mark of the Lombard King Agilulf shows that repairs were made between 590 and 615 AD.

In the ninth century the Cluniac Benedictines took possession of the church.   In 1176 the church became famous when, according to the legend, the bodies of the martyrs housed here flew as doves to the field of Legnano, landing on the City’s Carroccio, (a ceremonial war waggon) as a sign of the imminent victory against Frederick Barbarossa’s army.

When the building was modified between the 12th and the 13th centuries, giving it the present Romanesque appearance, the original walls were preserved to a height of 22 meters.   On the night of 6–7 April 1252 the body of Peter of Verona (later St. Peter Martyr) lay in state after his assassination.   A great multitude came to watch vigil, and the origins of Peter’s cult began, as people started to report miraculous occurrences.


Basilica of Saint SimplicianMain Altar of Basilica of Saint SimplicianWINDOWS of Basilica of Saint SimplicianChapel of the Anaunia martyrs, behind the apse in the Crypt of San Simpliciano church.


Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Memorials of the Saints – 15 August

Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (in the US, however, in most countries of Africa, the Solemnity will celebrated on Sunday 20 AUGUST): The feast celebrates the assumption of the body of the Blessed Virgin Mary into heaven upon her death. According to Pope Benedict XIV, it is a probable opinion, which it is impious to deny, though not an article of faith but has since in 1950 has been raised to a DOGMA of the Faith.   The origin of the feast day is not known but it was celebrated in Palestine before the year 500. It is a holy day of obligation, its vigil being a fast day, in all English-speaking countries except Canada.   Among the many masters who have painted the subject of the Assumption are Fra Angelico, Ghirlandajo, Rubens, Del Sarto and Titian.
• Acadians, Cajuns
• Cistercian Order, Cistercians
• fish dealers, fishmongers
• French air crews
• harness makers
• —
• France
• Guatemala
• India
• Jamaica
• Malta
• Paraguay
• Slovakia
• —
• east Africa (region of east Africa which includes diverse countries, proclaimed on 15 March 1952 by Pope Pius XII)
• South Africa (THIS IS NOT AN REGION BUT A COUNTRY and the Assumption is, therefore, the Patronal Feast of the Country of South Africa – proclaimed on 15 March 1952 by Pope Pius XII)
• —
• 24 dioceses
• 38 cities

Assumption of the Virgin Mary, 1600 - 1601 - Annibale Carracci
Annabale Carraci 1600-1601

St Alipius of Tagaste
Bl Alfred of Hildesheim
Bl Agustín Hurtado Soler
St Arduinus of Rimini
St Arnulphus of Soissons
Bl Claudio Granzotto
Bl George Halley
St Napoleon of Alexandria
Bl Pio Alberto del Corona
St Simplician of Milan
St Tarcisius

Martyrs of Nicomedia – 3 saints: Three Christians martyred together. No details survive but the names – Eutychian, Philip and Straton. They were martyred in Nicomedia, Bithynia (in modern Turkey).

Martyred in the Mexican Revolution: 4 Saints –
St David Roldán Lara
St Luis Batiz Sainz
St Manuel Moralez
St Salvador Lara Puente

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War: Thousands of people were murdered in the anti-Catholic persecutions of the Spanish Civil War from 1934 to 1939.
• Blessed Agustì Ibarra Angüela
• Blessed Carmelo Sastre y Sastre
• Blessed Clemente Vea Balaguer
• Blessed Francisco Míguez Fernández
• Blessed Ildefonso Alberto Flos
• Blessed Jaume Bonet Nadal
• Blessed Joan Ceró Cedó
• Blessed Josep Santonja Pinsach
• Blessed Juan Francisco Barahona Martín
• Blessed Juan Mesonero Huerta
• Blessed Luis Ros Ezcurra
• Blessed Manuel Formigo Giráldez
• Blessed Miguel Alberto Flos
• Blessed Sebastià Balcells Tonijuan
• Blessed Severiano Montes Fernández