Thought for the Day – 30 April – Monday of the Fifth Week of Eastertide and the Memorial of St Joseph Benedict Cottolengo (1786-1842) – known as “The Labourer of Divine Providence”
Speaking of: Trusting in God’s Providence
A letter from Mother Luisita OCDS
“For greater things you were born.
God will provide for all of our needs. Let us trust that we will receive all from Him who loves us so much and is always watching over us!
As you try to see all things as coming from the hand of God, adore His designs. I would like to see you have more trust in Divine Providence. Otherwise, you will be suffering many disappointments and your projects will meet with failure. Trust, my child, only in God. Everything human is changeable and the one who is for you today will be against you tomorrow. You see how good our God is! We should have more confidence in Him every day and have recourse to prayer, not permitting anything to discourage us or make us sad. He has given me so much confidence in His Divine Will that I leave everything in His hands and I am at peace.
My beloved child, let us praise God in everything because all that happens is for our own good. Try to fulfil your duties the best you can and for God alone and always remain happy and serene in all the tribulations of life. As for me, I have placed all in the hands of God and I have been successful. We have to learn to detach ourselves a little, trust in God alone and do God’s holy will with joy.
How beautiful it is to be in the Hands of God, searching His Divine Gaze in readiness to do whatever He wishes.”
“Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have trust in God, trust also in me.” John 14:1
Quote/s of the Day – 30 April – Monday of the Fifth Week of Eastertide and the Memorial of St Joseph Benedict Cottolengo (1786-1842) – known as “The Labourer of Divine Providence”.
Speaking of: Recognising God’s Hand
“There is absolutely nothing that gives us more peace, or does more to make us holy, than obeying the will of God.”
“God makes all chosen souls, pass through a fearful time of poverty, misery and nothingness. He desires to destroy in them gradually, all the help and confidence they derive from themselves, so that He may be their sole source of support, their confidence, their hope, their only resource.”
“We must offer ourselves to God like a clean, smooth canvas and not worry ourselves about what God may choose to paint on it but at each moment, feel only, the stroke of His brush.”
Fr Jean Pierre de Caussade (1675-1751)
‘Abandonment to Divine Providence’
“The poor are Jesus they are not just an image of Him.”
St Joseph Benedict Cottolengo (1786-1842)
“The Lord always sets signs on our path to guide us according to His will, to our own true good.”
Pope Benedict XVI
“If you do this one thing you will become a saint. If you don’t do it, you never will. The one thing is this: Let Jesus interrupt your life.”
One Minute Reflection – 30 April – Monday of the Fifth Week of Eastertide and the Memorial of St Joseph Benedict Cottolengo (1786-1842) – known as “The Labourer of Divine Providence”.
He who gives heed to the word will prosper and happy is he who trusts in the LORD...Proverbs 16:20
REFLECTION – “I am a good for nothing and I don’t even know what to make of myself. But Divine Providence certainly knows what it wants. It is only up to me to support it. Let us go ahead in Domino“….St Joseph Benedict Cottolengo
PRAYER – Lord, by Your grace, we are made one in mind and heart. Give us a love for what You command and a longing for what You promise, so that, amid this world’s changes, our hearts may be set on the world of lasting joy. We make our prayer, through our Lord Jesus Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God with You, forever and ever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 30 April – Monday of the Fifth Week of Eastertide and the Memorial of St Joseph Benedict Cottolengo (1786-1842) – known as “The Labourer of Divine Providence”.
Prayer of Abandonment – Lord, I Glorify You in Everything By Fr Jean Pierre de Caussade S.J. (1675-1751)
Lord, may Your kingdom come into my heart
to sanctify me, nourish me and purify me.
How insignificant is the passing moment
to the eye without faith!
But how important each moment is,
to the eye enlightened by faith!
How can we deem insignificant anything
which has been caused by You?
Every moment and every event, is guided by You,
and so contains Your infinite greatness.
So, Lord, I glorify You in everything
that happens to me.
In whatever manner You make me live and die,
I am content.
Events please me for their own sake,
regardless of their consequences,
because Your action lies behind them.
Everything is heaven to me,
because all my moments manifest Your love.
Saint of the Day – 30 April – St Joseph Benedict Cottolengo (1786-1842) Priest, Founder, Confessor, Apostle of Charity. Born asGiuseppe Benedetto Cottolengo on3 May 1786 at Bra, Cuneo, Piedmont region, Italy and died on 30 April 1842 of typhus at Chieri, Turin, Italy. He was buried in the Mary altar in the main chapel in Valdocco, Italy. St Joseph was Canonised on 19 March 1934 by Pope Pius XI. Known as “the labourer of Divine Providence”.
“St Joseph Benedict Cottolengo, who lived 40 years before Murialdo the Founder of the work which he himself called the “Little House of Divine Providence” and which today is also called “Cottolengo” embodied this same spirit of charity. Next Sunday, during my pastoral visit to Turin, I shall have the opportunity to venerate the remains of this Saint and to meet the residents of the “Little House”.
Joseph Benedict Cottolengo was born in Bra, a small town in the Province of Cuneo, on 3 May 1786. The eldest of 12, six of whom died in infancy, he showed great sensitivity to the poor from childhood. He embraced the way of the priesthood, setting an example to two of his brothers. The years of his youth coincided with the Napoleonic period and the consequent hardships in both the religious and social contexts. Cottolengo became a good priest much sought after by penitents and, in the Turin of that time, a preacher of spiritual exercises and conferences for university students who always met with noteworthy success. At the age of 32, he was appointed canon of the Santissima Trinità, a congregation of priests whose task was to officiate in the Corpus Domini Church and to ensure the decorum of the city’s religious ceremonies but he felt uneasy in this situation. God was preparing him for a special mission and, precisely with an unexpected and decisive encounter, made him realise what was to be his future destiny in the exercise of the ministry.
The Lord always sets signs on our path to guide us according to his will to our own true good. This also happened to Cottolengo, dramatically, on Sunday morning, 2 September 1827. The diligence from Milan arrived in Turin, more crowded than ever. Crammed into it was a whole French family. The mother, with five children, was at an advanced stage of pregnancy and had a high temperature. After traipsing to various hospitals, this family found lodgings in a public dormitory but the woman’s situation was serious and some people went in search of a priest. By a mysterious design they came across Cottolengo and it was precisely he who, heavy hearted, accompanied this young mother to her death, amid the distress of the entire family. Having carried out this painful task, with deep anguish he went to the Blessed Sacrament and knelt in prayer: “My God, why? Why did you want me to be a witness? What do you want of me? Something must be done!”. He got to his feet and had all the bells rung and the candles lit and, gathering in the church those who were curious, told them: “The grace has been granted! The grace has been granted!”. From that time Cottolengo was transformed: all his skills, especially his financial and organisational ability, were used to give life to projects in support of the neediest.
In his undertaking he was able to involve dozens and dozens of collaborators and volunteers. Moving towards the outskirts of Turin to expand his work, he created a sort of village, in which he assigned a meaningful name to every building he managed to build: “House of Faith”, “House of Hope”, “House of Charity”. He adopted a “familystyle”, establishing true and proper communities of people with volunteers, men and women religious and lay people, who joined forces in order to face and overcome the difficulties that arose. Everyone in that Little House of Divine Providence had a precise task: work, prayer, service, teaching or administration. The healthy and the sick shared the same daily burden. With time religious life could be specifically planned in accordance with particular needs and requirements.
Cottolengo even thought of setting up his own seminary to provide specific formation for the priests of his Work. He was always ready to follow and serve Divine Providence and never questioned it. He would say: “I am a good for nothing and I don’t even know what to make of myself. But Divine Providence certainly knows what it wants. It is only up to me to support it. Let us go ahead in Domino”. To his poor and the neediest, he would always call himself “the labourer of Divine Providence”.
He also chose to found beside the small citadels five monasteries of contemplative sisters and one of hermits and considered them among his most important achievements. They were a sort of “heart” which was to beat for the entire Work. He died on 30 April 1842, with these words on his lips: “Misericordia, Domine, Misericordia, Domine. Good and Holy Providence… Blessed Virgin, it is now up to you”. The whole of his life, as a newspaper of the time said, was “an intense day of love”.”….Pope Benedict XVI General Audience, Saint Peter’s Square, Wednesday, 28 April 2010.
Today Cottolengo Fathers, Sisters and Brothers still work together in activities focused on communicating God’s love for the poorest. They are spread out all over the world: Ecuador, India, Italy, Kenya, Switzerland, Tanzania and the United States. Don Cottolengo contracted typhoid while assisting his patients and died in Chieri, Piedmont on 30 April 1842. Cottolengo was beatified by Pope Benedict XV in 1917 and was Canonised by Pope Pius XI in 1934.
Joseph Benedict Cottolengo was enlisted among the saints of charity by Pope Benedict XVI in his encyclical Deus caritas est. The parish of Saint Joseph Benedict Cottolengo is located in Grosseto, Italy. There is a Via San Giuseppe Benedetto Cottolengo in Pisa.
St Marie Guyart of the Incarnation (Optional Memorial)
St Adjutor of Vernon
St Aimo of Savigny
St Amator of Córdoba
St Aphrodisius of Alexandria
St Dedë Plani
St Diodoro of Aphrodisias
St Donatus of Euraea
St Erconwald of London
St Eutropius of Saintes
St Genistus of Limoges
St Giuse Tuân
Bl Gualfardus of Augsburg
Bl Hildegard the Empress
St Joseph Benedict Cottolengo (1786-1842)
St Lawrence of Novara
St Louis of Córdoba
St Mariano of Acerenza
St Maximus of Ephesus
St Mercurialis of Forlì
St Peter of Córdoba
St Pomponius of Naples
St Quirinus of Rome
St Rodopiano of Aphrodisias
St Sophia of Fermo
St Swithbert the Younger
Bl Ventura of Spello
Bl William Southerne
Thought for the Day – 29 April – Fifth Sunday of Eastertide and the Memorial of St Catherine of Siena (1347-1380) Doctor of the Church
Catherine of Siena is one of the most remarkable figures of the fourteenth century and had an influence far beyond her holiness of life. She took part in the politics of both Church and State and was a beacon of light in a very difficult time.
The mystical experiences that were to last throughout her whole life and an intimacy with her Saviour that transformed her whole existence began when she was but six years old. She grew up, known for cheerfulness and merriment, with no indication of the astonishing role she was to play in the work of the Church.
In 1364, she became a member of the Third Order of St Dominic and from this time her influence began to grow in Siena as she gathered around her a circle of followers. She began dictating letters to this circle and to take part in public affairs. (She had never learnt to write, which was not uncommon for women in that era). In 1374, she began to interest herself in furthering a crusade against the Turks and in the return of the Pope from Avignon to Rome. In 1376, she went to Avignon to urge Pope Gregory XI to return to Rome. With her encouragement, he did but died shortly thereafter. In 1375, whilst on a trip to Pisa, she received the Stigmata.
Pope Gregory’s successor, Urban VI, so alienated the Cardinals who elected him, that they decided to elect another pope. This was the beginning of the Great Western Schism in which two and later three, popes, divided the allegiance of Christendom. Catherine was shattered by this division in the Church and went to Rome to work for the reunification of the Church.
Burdened with sorrow and offering herself for the unity of the Church, Catherine died in Rome on 29 April 1380. She left a huge collection of letters as well as her chief work, The Dialogues.
By the sheer force of her personality, St Catherine converted thousands and the mere sight of her would convert hardened sinners. We may not have her personality but we can reach into the lives of others and influence them for good. We cannot have warmth ourselves, without giving it to others. “Then they said to each other, ‘Did not our hearts burn within us as he talked to us on the road and explained the scriptures to us?’...Luke 24:32