Posted in MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 21 August – The Memorial of St Pope Pius X

Thought for the Day – 21 August – The Memorial of St Pope Pius X

“I was born poor, I lived poor, I will die poor.”   These words were part of the will that Pope Pius X left at his death on August 20, 1914.

He was born Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto, the second of 10 children.   His father was a poor parish clerk in Riese, Italy, and his mother worked as a seamstress.   At 11, Giuseppe was accepted as a student in high school.   Every day, he walked five miles to school and back.   At 15, he began attending the local seminary.   When his father died, Giuseppe wanted to come home and help with the family. His mother, however, would not let him.

In 1858, he was ordained and then worked as a parish priest for 17 years.   He believed his call was to encourage those who were poor to lead Christian lives and to help them overcome financial problems.   He was, however, named spiritual director of the major seminary and chancellor of the diocese.   Later, he became a bishop and then a cardinal.

In 1903, this little-known cardinal was elected to become Pope Pius X.  He took as his motto “Restore all things in Christ.”   He emphasised the importance of the Eucharist.   He directed that children as young as seven should be allowed to receive the Eucharist.   He initiated changes in Church music and worship.   He began a biblical institute.   He gave the first official impetus to the modern liturgical renewal.

Pope Pius X believed that real peace could be achieved only through social justice and charity.   He sponsored and sheltered refugees with his own resources.   He wrote an encyclical encouraging Latin American bishops to improve the treatment of native people working on plantations.
He worked to stop the world from going to war. When Europe entered World War I, on the 11th anniversary of his election as pope, Pius was heartbroken, it killed him.   He said, “I would gladly give up my life to save my poor children from this ghastly scourge.” Just a few weeks after the war started, Pope Pius X died.

St Pius’ humble background was no obstacle in relating to a personal God and to people whom he loved genuinely.   Pius X gained his strength, his gentleness and warmth for people from the source of all gifts, the Spirit of Jesus.  In contrast, we often feel embarrassed by our backgrounds.   Shame makes us prefer to remain aloof from people whom we perceive as superior.   If we are in a superior position, on the other hand, we often ignore simpler people.   Yet we, too, have to help “restore all things in Christ,” especially the wounded people of God.

St Pope Pius X, Pray for us!

st pius x pray for us


Quote/s of the Day – 21 August – The Memorial of St Pope Pius X

Quote/s of the Day – 21 August – The Memorial of St Pope Pius X

“The daily adoration or visit to the Blessed Sacrament
is the practice which is the fountainhead
of all devotional works.”

the daily adoration - st pope pius X

“HOLY COMMUNION is the shortest
and the safest way to heaven.”

holy communion - st pius X

“The greatest obstacle in the apostolate of the Church
is the timidity or rather the cowardice of the faithful.”

the greatest obstacle - st pius X

“Let the storm rage and the sky darken —
not for that shall we be dismayed.
If we trust as we should in Mary,
we shall recognise in her, the Virgin Most Powerful,
who with virginal foot did crush the head of the serpent.”

St Pope Pius X

let the storm rage - st pope pius x

Posted in MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY SPIRIT

Our Morning Offering – 21 August – The Memorial of St Pope Pius X

Our Morning Offering – August 21 – The Memorial of St Pope Pius X

Prayer for Union with the Holy Spirit
By St Pope Pius X

O Holy Spirit of Light and Love,
to You I consecrate my heart,
mind and will
for time and eternity.
May I be ever docile
to Your Divine inspirations
and to the teachings
of the Holy Catholic Church
whose infallible guide You are.
May my heart be ever inflamed
with the love of God and love of neighbour.
May my will be ever in harmony with Your Divine Will.
May my life faithfully imitate the life and virtues
of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
To Him,
with the Father,
and You, Divine Spirit,
be honour and glory forever.

prayer for union with the Holy Spirit by St Pope Pius X

Posted in MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – August 21 – The Memorial of St Pope Pius X

One Minute Reflection – August 21 – The Memorial of St Pope Pius X

You are sad for a time but I shall see you again; then your hearts will rejoice with a joy no one can take from you…………John 16:22john 16 22

REFLECTION – Catholics are part of the Church Militant. They struggle and they suffer for the triumph of Christ.
They must never lose sight of their Divine Model, so that their trials will be turned into joy……..St Pius X

they struggle and they suffer - st pope pius X

PRAYER – Jesus Lord of Sorrows, enable me to struggle and suffer in union with You. Let me keep ever before me the joy that will follow upon these passing sufferings. St Pius X Pray for Us. Amen

st pope pius - pray for us

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 21 August – St Bernardo Tolomei (1272-1348)

Saint of the Day – 21 August – St Bernardo Tolomei (1272-1348) Founder, Theologian, Mystic, Hermit, Lawyer, Soldier, Politician (10 May 1272 at Siena, Tuscany as Giovanni Tolomei – 20 August 1348 in Siena, Italy of natural causes).   He was Beatified on 24 November 1644 by Pope Innocent X (cultus confirmed) and Canonised on 26 April 2009 Pope Benedict XVI.   Patronage – the Order he founded, the Congregation of the Blessed Virgin of Monte Oliveto, known as the Olivetans.   Attributes – White Habit.

san bernado HEADERsan bernado HEADER.2

BERNARDO TOLOMEI, son of Mino Tolomei, was born in Siena on the 10th of May 1272. At his baptism he was given the name Giovanni.   He was probably educated by the Dominicans at their College of San Domenico di Camporegio in Siena.   He was knighted by Rodolfo I d’Absburgo (†1291).   While studying law in his home town, he was also a member of the Confraternity of the Disciplinati di Santa Maria della Notte dedicated to aiding the sick at the hospital della Scala.   Due to a progressive and almost total blindness, he was forced to give up his public career.   In 1313, in order to realize a more radical Christian and ascetic ideal, together with two companions, (Patrizio di Francesco Patrizi †1347 and Ambrogio di Nino Piccolomini †1338) both noble Sienese merchants and members of the same Confraternity, he retired to Accona on a property belonging to his family, about 30km south-east of the city.   It was here that Giovanni, who in the mean time had taken the name Bernardo out of veneration for the holy Cistercian abbot, St Bernard of Clairvaux (Memorial 20 August), together with his two companions, lived a hermitic penitential life characterised by prayer, manual work and silence.

Towards the end of 1318, or the beginning of 1319, while deep in prayer, he saw a ladder on which monks in white habits ascended, helped by angels and awaited by Jesus and Mary.

In order to secure the legal position of his group, Bernardo, together with Patrizio Patrizi, visited the bishop of Arezzo, Guido Tarlati di Pietramala (1306-c.1327) under whose jurisdiction Accona fell at the time.   On the 26th March 1319 he was given a Decree authorising him to build the future monastery of Santa Maria di Monte Oliveto and instituted “sub regula sancti Benedicti”, with certain privileges and exemptions.  Through his legate, the bishop received their monastic profession.   In choosing the Rule of St. Benedict, Bernardo accepted Benedictine coenobitism and, wishing to honour Our Lady, the founders wore a white habit.   Welcoming the small group of monks, the bishop said: “Since your fellow citizens glory in placing themselves under the patronage of the Virgin, and because of the virginal purity of the glorious Mother, it pleases you to wear a white monastic habit, therefore showing outwardly that purity which you harbour within.” (Antonio di Barga, Cronaca 5).   The white habit characterised various forms of medieval monasticism, amongst which the Camaldolese, Carthusians, Cistercians and the monks of Montevergine.

With the laying of the first stone of the church on the 1st of April 1319, the monastery of Santa Maria di Monte Oliveto Maggiore was born.   The hermits became monks according to the Rule of St Benedict to which they made some institutional changes.   The most characteristic element of this institutional change recorded in an episcopal document 28thMarch 1324, was the temporariness of the abbatial office and the abbot-elect would have to be confirmed by the bishop of Arezzo.   When the time came to elect an abbot, Bernardo succeeded in withdrawing himself from those eligible because of his infirmity of sight.   Therefore, Patrizio Patrizi was elected first abbot (1st of September 1319).   Two other abbots followed: Ambrogio Piccolomini (1st of September 1320) and Simone di Tura (1st of September 1321).   On the 1st of September 1322, Bernardo could no longer oppose the wishes of his brethren and so became the fourth abbot of the Monastery he founded, remaining abbot until his death.   An Act dated 24th September 1326 attests that the Apostolic Legate, Cardinal Giovanni Caetani Orsini (†1339), dispensed abbot Bernardo from the Canonical impediment of Infirmity of Sight, hence validating his election.   From Avignone, with three Bulls dated 21st January 1344 (Significant Vestrae Sanctitati: acknowledges the foundation and requests pontifical privileges; Vacantibus sub religionis:  canonical approval of the new community;  Solicitudinis pastoralis officium: the faculty to erect new monasteries in Italy) Clemente VI approved the Congregation which numbered ten monasteries.   Bernardo did not go to Avignone himself but sent two monks:  Simone Tendi and Michele Tani.

Significant evidence of the spiritual personality of Bernardo consists in the fact that, even though the monks had decided not to re-elect an abbot at the end of his annual mandate, they decided to ignore this, re-electing Bernardo for twenty-seven consecutive years, until his death.   Another act of trust in Bernardo’s paternity was seen in the General Chapter of the 4thof May 1347 when the monks granted him the faculty to govern without recourse to the Chapter and the brethren, trusting that he would do all in conformity to God’s Will and for the salvation of all.

Bernardo tried at least twice, in 1326 and 1342, to lay down the abbatial office, declaring to the Pope’s Legate and Jurists that he was not a priest but only in Minor Orders, also citing the existing dispensation from his function as abbot because of his persistent infirmity of vision.   However his leadership was asserted fully legitimate even according to the canonical norms of the time.   With the Pontifical Approbation of a new Benedictine Congregation named “Santa Maria di Monte Oliveto”, Bernardo is the initiator of a resolute Benedictine monastic movement.

abbey of mont-olivet major

Bernardo left his monks an example of a holy life, the practice of the virtues to a heroic level, an existence dedicated to the service of others and to contemplation.   During the Plague of 1348 Bernardo left the solitude of Monte Oliveto for the monastery of San Benedetto a Porta Tufi in Siena.   In the city, the disease was particularly dire.   On the 20th August 1348, while helping his plague-stricken monks, he himself, along with 82 monks, fell victim of the Plague.  Bernard Tolomei died, together with half of the congregation, during the epidemic of plague that ravaged Tuscany in 1348;  he had gone to rescue his brothers from the monastery of St Benedict of Siena.

Bernardo Tolomei2

São Bernardo Tolomei, Presbítero e Fundador (dos Olive (1)ST BERNARDO TOLOMEIL.Mazzanti, Bernardo Tolomei pflegt.. - Mazzanti /Bernard Tolomei w.Plague Vict. - L. Mazzanti, Bernard Tolomeï soignant...

The Blessed Bernardo Tolomei Attending a Victim of the Black Death, 1745

This hero of penance and martyr of charity did not go by unnoticed, as Pius XII observed in a letter sent to Abbot General Dom Romualdo M. Zilianti on the 11th April 1948, to commemorate the forthcoming sixth centenary of the death of Blessed Bernardo.   The venerable abbot was buried near the monastery church in Siena.   All the plague-stricken bodies were put in a common pit of quick-lime outside the church.   Unfortunately the search for the bodies of the victims of the plague, both in Siena and in and around the Abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore, has been unsuccessful to this day.

The Congregation underwent a strong development later, in Italy exclusively until the 19th century where the first foreign foundations took place, first in France.   Today of modest size, the monastic family is nonetheless present almost on five continents.   Its institutions have, of course, evolved from the beginning, in order to allow for a greater consistency of local communities and to be able to live real cultural diversity.

San Bernardo Tolome

A statue of San Bernardo Tolomei on the Chiesa di San Cristoforo in the Piazza Tolomei, Siena Italy.


Memorials of the Saints and the Feast of Our Lady of Knock – 21 August

St Pius X, Pope (Memorial)
Our Lady of Knock: Our Lady, Saint Joseph and Saint John the Evangelist appeared in a blaze of light at the south gable of Saint John the Baptist Church, Knock, County Mayo, Ireland.   They appeared to float about two feet above the ground and each would occassionally move toward the visionaries and then away from them.   The Blessed Virgin Mary was clothed in white robes with a brilliant crown on her head.   Where the crown fitted to her brow, she wore a beautiful full-bloom golden rose.   She was praying with her eyes and hands raised towards Heaven.   Saint Joseph wore white robes, stood on Our Lady’s right and was turned towards her in an attitude of respect.   Saint John was dressed in white vestment, stood was on Mary’s left and resembled a bishop, with a small mitre.   He appeared to be preaching and he held an open book in his left hand. Behind them and a little to the left of Saint John was a plain altar on which was a cross and a lamb with adoring angels.   The apparition was witnessed by fifteen people. Miraculous healings were reported soon after the area and it is now a major pilgrimage destination. Patronage – Ireland.

St Abraham of Smolensk
St Agapius of Edessa
St Agathonicus of Constantinople
St Anastasius Cornicularius
St Aria of Rome
St Avitus I of Clermont
St Bassa of Edessa
Bl Beatrice de Roelas
St Bernhard of Lérida
St Bernard de Alziva
St Bernardo Tolomeo –
St Bonosus
Bl Bruno Zembol
St Camerinus of Sardinia
St Cameron
St Cisellus of Sardinia
St Cyriaca
St Euprepius of Verona
St Fidelis of Edessa
Bl Gilbert of Valenciennes
St Gracia of Lérida
St Hardulph
St Joseph Nien Vien
Bl Ladislaus Findysz
St Leontius the Elder
St Luxorius of Sardinia
St Maria of Lérida
St Maximianus the Soldier
St Maximilian of Antioch
St Natale of Casale Monferrato
St Paternus of Fondi
St Privatus of Mende
St Quadratus of Utica
St Sidonius Apollinaris
St Theogonius of Edessa
Bl Victoire Rasoamanarivo
St Zoticus the Philosopher

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
• Blessed Joan Cuscó Oliver
• Blessed Joan Vernet Masip
• Blessed Pedro Mesonero Rodríguez
• Blessed Pere Sadurní Raventós
• Blessed Ramon Peiró Victori
• Blessed Salvador Estrugo Salves