Thought for the Day – 27 April – Friday of the Fourth Week of Eastertide and the Feast of Our Lady of Montserrat

Thought for the Day – 27 April – Friday of the Fourth Week of Eastertide and the Feast of Our Lady of Montserrat

“If I were a leper my mother would hug me.   She would kiss my wounds without fear or hesitation. —Well then, what would the Blessed Virgin Mary do?

When we feel we are like lepers, all full of sores, we have to cry out:  Mother!       And the protection of our Mother will be like a kiss upon our wounds, which obtains our cure. “…St. Josemaria Escriva  (1902-1975) – The Forge, no. 190

when we feel we are like lepers - st josemaria no 2- 27 april 2018

Approximately 28 miles northwest of Barcelona, Spain, is the mountain of Montserrat. Located on the mountain is the Benedictine Monastery and Marian Shrine of Montserrat where since the 8th century pilgrims have journeyed to see the miraculous image of Our Lady of Montserrat.

According to tradition, the image of Our Lady was found on the mountain in 718 AD.   The Benedictine Monks chose to build their monastery around the statue of Our Lady because they were unable to lift or move it.   The statue of Our Lady of Montserrat remains on the mountain today, enshrined within the sanctuary in a beautifully decorated chapel.   Our Lady is depicted seated on a throne holding the Child Jesus. Her face and hands have darkened over time due to external elements for which she is affectionately called “La Morenita.”

Saints Peter Nolasco, Ignatius Loyola, and Josemaria Escriva are counted among the many pilgrims that throughout the centuries have gone to Our Lady of Montserrat to seek her intercession.   St Josemaria was deeply devoted to Our Lady of Montserrat.   During the 1940’s, he frequently visited the shrine and made an especially important visit in 1946 before departing for Rome, which would become his new permanent home and where would begin an important period in the history of Opus Dei.


Despite his move to Rome, St Josemaria’s love for the Blessed Virgin Mary under this advocation continued throughout his life.   And it was on the feast of Our Lady of Montserrat, 27 April 1954, that he was cured of diabetes, after a very severe attack which brought him to the point of death.   The story is told by Jose Miguel Cejas in his book Josemaría Escrivá, un hombre, un camino y un mensaje (“Josemaria Escriva, a man, a way and a message”):

“27 April 1954 and life was going on as usual in Villa Tevere, the headquarters of the Opus Dei prelature in Rome. It was the feast of Our Lady of Montserrat, an ordinary day, filled with prayer and work in the warm Italian springtime.   Recently Escriva’s diabetes had intensified.   Every week he went for a blood test and the results were progressively worse, in spite of a strict diet and the high doses of insulin he was given daily.   Escriva did not lose his peace of mind over this:  God led him along paths of abandonment, humility, simplicity and trust.   That day, following the doctor’s instructions, at ten to one in the afternoon, Alvaro del Portillo had given him an injection with a new prescription of delayed-action insulin.   Afterwards they went down to the dining-room.

Escriva sat down at table and suffered a physical collapse.   He realised that he could be about to die and his instant reaction was to ask for absolution.
“Alvaro, give me absolution.”
“But, Father, what are you saying?”
As Fr Del Portillo was too surprised to do anything, Escriva began the words for him, “Ego te absolvo – ” and fell unconscious on the floor.

It was an anaphylactic shock.   Del Portillo gave him absolution, put some sugar in his mouth and made him swallow it, dashed water in his face and moved his head and limbs and quickly summoned a doctor.   Some minutes later, Escriva slowly began to come round, though he found that he could not see anything.

The doctor was astonished, since these types of insulin reaction are normally fatal. However, after some hours Escriva felt better and recovered his sight again.   From that day on, his diabetes was cured.   It had been a caress from his Heavenly Mother, on the feast of Our Lady of Montserrat.”

Our Lady of Montserrat, pray for us!our lady of montserrat pray for us - 27 april 2018

St Josemaria Escriva, pray for us!st josemaria - pray for us

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, QUOTES on the DEVIL/EVIL, SPEAKING of ....., The PASSION

Quote/s of the Day – 27 April – Friday of the Fourth Week of Eastertide “Speaking of: Sin and Suffering”

Quote/s of the Day – 27 April – Friday of the Fourth Week of Eastertide

“Speaking of:  Sin and Suffering”

“The dragon, sits by the side of the road,
watching those who pass.
Beware lest he devour you.
We go to the Father of Souls
but it is necessary,
to pass by the dragon.”

St Cyril of Jerusalem (315-387) Father & Doctor of the Churchthe dragon sits by the side - st cyril of jerusalem - 27 april 2018

“Only those who do not fight
are never wounded.”

St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father & Doctor of the Church

only those who do not fight - st john chrysostom - 27 april 2018

“The life of each and every one of us has been written.
The crucifix is my autobiography.
The blood is the ink.
The nails the pen.
The skin the parchment.
On every line of that body, I can trace my life.
In the crown of thorns I can read my pride.
In the hands that are dug with nails,
I can read avarice and greed.
In the flesh hanging from him like purple rags,
I can read my lust.
In feet that are fettered, I can find the times
that I ran away and would not let Him follow.
Any sin that you can think of is written there.”

Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen (1895-1979)the life of each and every one of us - ven fulton sheen - 27 april 2018

“My key to heaven
is that I loved Jesus
in the night.”

St Mother Teresa (1910-1997)my key to heaven = st mother teresa - 27 april 2018

“Don’t waste your suffering.”

St John Paul the Great (1920-2005)don't waste your suffering - st john paul - 27 april 2018


One Minute Reflection – 27 April – Friday of the Fourth Week of Eastertide and the Feast of Our Lady of Montserrat

One Minute Reflection – 27 April – Friday of the Fourth Week of Eastertide and the Feast of Our Lady of Montserrat – Gospel today John 14:1-6

“Let not your hearts be troubled;  believe in God, believe also in me.“…John 14:1john 14 1

REFLECTION – “I will not mistrust Him, Meg, although I shall feel myself weakening and on the verge of being overcome with fear.   I shall remember how St Peter at a blast of wind, began to sink, because of his lack of faith and I shall do as he did:  call upon Christ and pray to Him for help.   And then I trust He shall place His holy hand on me and in the stormy seas hold me up from drowning.”…St Thomas More (1478-1535)i will not distrust him Meg - st thomas more - 11 jan 2018

PRAYER – “[Lord God] I believe in You, increase my faith.   All my hopes are in You, secure my trust.   I love You, teach me to love You more each day… I adore You as my first beginning, I long for You as my final end.   I praise You as my constant helper and call on You as my loving protector.   Guide me by Your Wisdom, correct me with Your Justice, comfort me with Your Mercy, protect me by Your Power… Lord, enlighten my understanding, enflame my will, purify my heart, sanctify my soul.   Help me to repent of my past sins and to rise above my human weaknesses and to grow stronger as a Christian…”(from the Universal Prayer by Pope Clement XI (1649-1721))

lord god I believe - from the universal prayer - pope clement XI - 27 april 2018

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, MARIAN PRAYERS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Our Morning Offering – 27 April – Friday of the Fourth Week of Eastertide and the Feast of Our Lady of Montserrat (718)

Our Morning Offering – 27 April – Friday of the Fourth Week of Eastertide and the Feast of Our Lady of Montserrat (718)

O Most Blessed and Sweet Virgin Mary
By St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) Doctor of the Church

0 most blessed and sweet Virgin Mary,
Mother of God, filled with all tenderness,
Daughter of the most high King,
Lady of the Angels,
Mother of all the faithful,
On this day and all the days of my life,
I entrust to your merciful heart,
my body and my soul,
all my acts, thoughts, choices,
desires, words, deeds,
my entire life and death,
So that, with your assistance,
all may be ordered to the good
according to the will of your beloved Son,
our Lord Jesus Christ.
Ameno most blessed and sweet virgin mary - st thomas aquinas - 27 april 2018



Feast of Our Lady of Montserrat – 27 April

Feast of Our Lady of Montserrat (718) – 27 April, is a Marian title associated with a venerated statue of the Madonna and Child venerated at the Santa Maria de Montserrat monastery on the Montserrat Mountain in Catalonia, Spain. She is the Patron Saint of Catalonia, an honour she shares with Saint George (Sant Jordi in Catalan). Pope Leo XIII granted the image a Canonical coronation on 11 September 1881. The image is one of the Black Madonnas of Europe, hence its familiar Catalan name, La Moreneta (“the little dark-skinned one” or “the little dark one”). Believed by some to have been carved in Jerusalem in the early days of the Church, it is more likely a Romanesque sculpture in wood from the late 12th century. An 18th century polychromed statue of the same image is also displayed in Saint Peter’s basilica, previously stored in the Vatican Museums which was gifted by the President of Brazil, Joao Goulart on the Papal election of Pope Paul VI in 1963. The image has been on display for Papal masses since the Pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI.


Blackened by candles that burned before the statue day and night, this particular image dates back to at least the twelfth century.    St Ignatius of Loyola made an annual pilgrimage to Montserrat as have a million or more pilgrims every year in modern times.
The mountain named Montserrat rises 20 miles northwest of Barcelona, in the region of Catalonia, which takes it names from the Spanish, Catalan, for “sawn mountain” probably because its rock outgrowths seem to be the teeth of a saw
 from a distance. These most unusual lofty cone-shaped jags are almost perpendicular.   The highest cone rises to a height of nearly 4,000 feet, while the circumference around the entire base of the mountain is measured at about 12 miles.   The church which contains the miracle-working statue of the Madonna and Child sits about halfway up the mountain.
According to tradition, the miraculous image was first known as La Jerosolimitana (the native of Jerusalem), since it is thought to have been carved there in the early days of the Church.   The statue was eventually given to St Etereo, Bishop of Barcelona, who brought it to Spain.
In the seventh century, when Saracen infidels invaded Spain, the Christians of Barcelona heroically defended it for three years until defeat appeared imminent.   Knowing that they could hold out no longer, they decided to take their treasured image of Our Lady to a secret, safe place.   Quietly, with the knowledge of the Bishop and the Governor of the city, a group brought the statue to Montserrat, placing it in a small cave, on 22 April 718. A complete account  of the origin of the miraculous image, the cause of its removal and the place of its hidden security were recorded and  in the archives of Barcelona.
Even though the location of the statue was eventually forgotten, the people of Barcelona never forgot the holy image for almost 200 years.   Then, in 890, shepherd boys from Monistrol, a village at the foot of Montserrat, were sent unbeknown to them to be the source of the discovery of the treasure.
While tending their flocks that night the shepherds were surprised by lights and the sound of singing coming from the mountain.   When this happened once again, they reported the situation to their priest, who looked into the matter.   He, too, heard the singing and saw the mysterious lights, so he 
reported this to the Bishop, who also witnessed the same occurrences.   At last the statue of Our Lady was discovered in the cave and brought out and placed in a small church that was soon built;  this little church developed into the present church that was completed in 1592.
In 888 there had already been a chapel dedicated to Our Lady and it was at that spot that the present shrine is located.   Eventually a monastery was added, which grew rapidly, because of the miracles wrought there by the Blessed Virgin.   According to the caretakers of the shrine, the statue that still presides over the monastery was introduced in the twelfth or thirteenth century.   This statue might have replaced an earlier one, which could have been destroyed during one of the many wars.
Carved in wood, the statue is in a sitting position and measures slightly over three feet in height.   In Romanesque style, the figure is slender, with an elongated face and a delicate expression.   The dress of the Virgin consists of a tunic and cloak both gilded and plain in design which is draped.   Beneath the crown is a veil adorned with stars, squares, and stripes in subtle shades of colour.   The right hand of the Virgin holds a sphere, while the other is extended in a graceful gesture.   The Child Jesus sits on His Mother’s lap and also wears a crown and lovely garments.   His right hand is raised in blessing; His left hand holds an object that resembles a large pine cone.   A cushion serves as the Madonna’s footrest;  she is seated upon a chair that has large legs and whose back is topped by cone-shaped finials.   The statue is highly revered not only as a religious treasure but also because of its artistic value.   It is almost completely gilded, save the face and hands of both Our Lady and the Child Jesus 
[and His feet also].   Unlike many old statues which are black because of the kind of wood or the effects of the original paint, the dark colour of Our Lady of Montserrat is attributed to the innumerable candles and lamps used in its veneration.   Because of this dark colour it is affectionately called La Moreneta, The Dark Little One.   Thus, the Virgin of Montserrat is classified among the Black Madonnas.
The image is in an alcove behind the main altar.   It can be reached by climbing decorated stairs to the side of the church. The stairs lead to a large room which is directly behind the alcove where the statue is enthroned. This large room is called the Camarin de La Virgen, the Chamber of the Virgin.   A large number of people can fit in the space to pray beside the throne of the Blessed Mother.   The pilgrim cannot touch the image, however, since it is protected by a glass. 

Although not located on the peak of the mountain as are the sanctuaries of Monte Cassino and Le Puy, the monastery is situated high enough from the surrounding area to make one think it safe from attack.   Yet the monastery sustained considerable damage during the Napoleonic invasion.   Additional harm was inflicted during civil wars and revolutionary disturbances.   The treasured image of the Madonna and Child was hidden during these times but was soon restored to its place of honour when the church and buildings were quickly repaired.   These buildings were spared during the Spanish Civil War of 1936-1939 by the Autonomous Government of Catalonia. 

Benedictines settled in the monastery hundreds of years ago and still maintain the sanctuary and provide hospitality to the steady stream of pilgrims who go there.   The number of historical figures connected to the sanctuary or who have visited it, including one of its hermits, Bernat Boil, who accompanied Christopher Columbus to the New World, thus becoming the first missionary to America.   One of Montserrat’s first abbots became Julius II, the Renaissance Pope for whom Michelangelo worked.   Emperor Charles V and Philip II of Spain both died with blessed candles from the sanctuary in their hands.   King Louis XIV of France had intercessory prayers said at Montserrat for the Queen Mother and Emperor Ferdinand III of Austria made generous financial gifts to the monastery.   All the kings of Spain prayed at the shrine, as did Cardinal Roncalli, who later became St Pope John XXIII. 

basilica of the Abbey of Montserrat, Catalonia, Spainour lady of montserrat
Some of the Saints who visited there were St Peter Nolasco, St Raymond of Penafort, St Vincent Ferrer, St Francis Borgia, St Aloysius Gonzaga, St Joseph Calasanctius, St Anthony Mary Claret and St Ignatius, who as a knight was confessed by one of the monks.   After spending a night praying before the image of Our Lady of Montserrat, he began his new life and the founding of Jesuit order.   A few miles away is Manresa, a pilgrim shrine of the Society of Jesus.   The shrine holds the cave wherein St Ignatius Loyola retired from the world and wrote his Spiritual Exercises.
The Virgin of Montserrat was declared the Patron Saint of the Diocese of Catalonia by Leo XIII.   The statue has always been one of the most celebrated images in Spain.
A historian wrote:  “In all ages the sinful, the suffering, the sorrowful, have laid their woes at the feet of Our Lady of Montserrat and none have ever gone away unheard or unaided.” 



Feast of Our Lady of Montserrat and Memorials of the Saints 27 April

Our Lady of Montserrat:  (718) Our Lady is venerated under the invocation of the Virgin of Montserrat or “Rosa d’abril” – because of the Virolai hymn sung to her – at the Santa Maria de Montserrat monastery in the Montserrat mountain in Catalonia, Spain.
It is one of the black Madonnas of Europe, hence its familiar Catalan name, la Moreneta (“The little dark-skinned one”).
Believed by some to have been carved in Jerusalem in the early days of the Church. Legend has it that the Benedictine monks could not move the statue to construct their monastery, choosing to instead build around it.
On 11 September 1844, Pope Leo XIII declared the virgin of Montserrat patroness of Catalonia, Spain.

St Adelelmus of Le Mans
St Asicus of Elphin
St Castor of Tarsus
St Enoder
St Floribert of Liege
Bl Hosanna of Cattaro
Bl Jakov Varingez
St John of Kathara
St Joseph Outhay Phongphumi
St Laurensô Nguyen Van Huong
St Liberalis of Treviso
St Maughold
Bl Nicolas Roland
St Noël Tenaud
Bl Peter Armengol
St Pollio of Cybalae
St Simeon of Jerusalem
St Stephen of Tarsus
St Tertullian of Bologna
St Theophilus of Brescia
St Winewald of Beverley
St Zita of Lucca

Martyrs of Nicomedia: A group of Christians murdered together for their faith. In most cases all we have are their names – Dioscurus, Evanthia, Felicia, Felix, Germana, Germelina, Johannes, Julius, Laetissima, Nikeforus, Papias, Serapion and Victorinus. They died at Nicomedia, Bithynia, Asia Minor (modern Izmit, Turkey).