Marian Thought for the Day – 7 May “Mary’s Month” – Monday of the Sixth week of Eastertide

Marian Thought for the Day – 7 May “Mary’s Month” – Monday of the Sixth week of Eastertide

Mary is the “Mater Amabilis”
the Lovable or Dear Mother
Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

WHY is she “Amabilis” thus specially?   It is because she was without sin.   Sin is something odious in its very nature and grace is something bright, beautiful, attractive.

However, it may be said that sinlessness was not enough to make others love her, or to make her dear to others and that for two reasons:   first, because we cannot like anyone that is not like ourselves and we are sinners;   and next, because her being holy would not make her pleasant and winning because holy persons whom we fall in with, are not always agreeable and we cannot like them, however we may revere them and look up to them.

Now as to the first of these two questions, we may grant that bad men do not, cannot like good men but our Blessed Virgin Mary is called Amabilis, or lovable, as being such to the children of the Church, not to those outside of it, who know nothing about her and no child of Holy Church but has some remains of God’s grace in his soul which makes him sufficiently like her, however greatly wanting he may be, to allow of his being able to love her.   So we may let this question pass.

But as to the second question, viz., How are we sure that our Lady, when she was on earth, attracted people round her and made them love her merely because she was holy?—considering that holy people sometimes have not that gift of drawing others to them.

To explain this point we must recollect that there is a vast difference between the state of a soul such as that of the Blessed Virgin, which has never sinned and a soul, however holy, which has once had upon it Adam’s sin;   for, even after baptism and repentance, it suffers necessarily from the spiritual wounds which are the consequence of that sin. Holy men, indeed, never commit mortal sin, nay, sometimes have never committed even one mortal sin in the whole course of their lives.   But Mary’s holiness went beyond this. She never committed even a venial sin and this special privilege is not known to belong to anyone but Mary.

Now, whatever want of amiableness, sweetness, attractiveness, really exists in holy men arises from the remains of sin in them, or again from the want of a holiness powerful enough to overcome the defects of nature, whether of soul or body but, as to Mary, her holiness was such, that if we saw her and heard her, we should not be able to tell to those who asked us anything about her except simply that she was angelic and heavenly.

Of course, her face was most beautiful but we  should not be able to recollect whether it was beautiful or not, we should not recollect any of her features because it was her beautiful sinless soul, which looked through her eyes and spoke through her mouth and was heard in her voice and compassed her all about.   When she was still, or when she walked, whether she smiled, or was sad, her sinless soul, this it was, which would draw all those to her who had any grace in them, any remains of grace, any love of holy things.

There was a divine music in all she said and did—in her mien, her air, her deportment, that charmed every true heart that came near her.   Her innocence, her humility and modesty, her simplicity, sincerity, and truthfulness, her unselfishness, her unaffected interest in everyone who came to her, her purity—it was these qualities which made her so lovable and were we to see her now, neither our first thought nor our second thought would be, what she could do for us with her Son, (though she can do so much) but our first thought would be, “Oh, how beautiful!” and our second thought would be, “Oh, what ugly hateful creatures are we!”

Mater Amabilis, Pray for us!mater amabilis - lovable mother - dear mother - the visitation - pray for us - 7 may 2018

Posted in MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 7 May – Monday of the Sixth week of Eastertide and the Memorial of St Rose Venerini (1656-1728)

Thought for the Day – 7 May – Monday of the Sixth week of Eastertide and the Memorial of St Rose Venerini (1656-1728)

Prayer was the breath of her day.   Rose did not impose on herself or her Daughters long vocal prayers but recommended that the life of the Maestre, in the practice of the precious education ministry, be a continuous speaking with God, of God and for God.

Intimate communion with the Lord was nourished by mental prayer, which the Saint considered “essential nourishment of the soul”.   In meditation, Rosa listened to the Teacher who taught along the roads of Palestine and in a particular way from the height of the Cross.   With her gaze upon the crucifix, Rosa always felt more strongly her passion for the salvation of souls.   For this reason, she celebrated and lived daily the Eucharist in a mystical way.   In her imagination, the Saint saw the world as a great circle;   she placed herself in the centre of it and contemplated Jesus, the immaculate victim, who offered Himself from every part of the world to the Father through the Eucharistic Sacrifice.

She called this means of elevating herself to God “The Greatest Circle”.   With incessant prayer, she participated spiritually in all the Masses being celebrated in every part of the world.   She united with love the sufferings, hard work and joys of her own life to the sufferings of Jesus Christ, concerned that His Precious Blood would not be shed in vain…

St Rose Venerini, pray for us!st rose venerini - pray for us - 7 may 2018


Quote of the Day – 7 May – Monday of the Sixth week of Eastertide and the Memorial of St Rose Venerini (1656-1728)

Quote of the Day – 7 May – Monday of the Sixth week of Eastertide and the Memorial of St Rose Venerini (1656-1728)

“I feel so nailed to the Will of God,
that nothing else matters, neither death nor life.
I want what He wants;
I want to serve Him
as much as pleases Him and no more.”

St Rose Venerini M.P.V. (1656-1728)i feel so nailed to the will of god - st rose venerini - 7 may 2018


One Minute Marian Reflection – 7 May “Mary’s Month” – Monday of the Sixth week of Eastertide

One Minute Marian Reflection – 7 May “Mary’s Month” – Monday of the Sixth week of Eastertide

And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren...Luke 1:36luke 1 36 - and behold elizabeth your relative - 7 may 2018

REFLECTION – “MARY:  OUR MODEL IN ORDINARY LIFE – “We can’t forget that Mary spent nearly every day of her life just like millions of other women who look after their families, bring up their children and take care of their houses.   Mary sanctifies the ordinary, everyday things.what some people wrongly regard as unimportant and insignificant, everyday work, looking after those closest to you, visits to friends and relatives.   What a blessed ordinariness, that can be so full of love of God.” …St Josemaria Escriva (1902-1975) – “To Jesus through Mary” – Christ is Passing By 144
Let us offer to our Mother today:
Affectionate details of service and attention to those closest to us.mary - our model inordinary life - st josemaria - 7 may 2018

PRAYER – Almighty, ever-living God, You inspired the Blessed Virgin Mary, when she was carrying Your Son, to visit her cousin, St Elizabeth.   Grant that, always docile to the voice of the Spirit, we may, together with our Lady, glorify Your name and serve our neighbour.   Mary, you who are kindness and mercy, help us to fulfil our duties with love and please pray for us.   We make our prayer through Jesus Christ, our Lord, in union with You, holy Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever, amen.holy mary mother of god - pray for us - 7 may 2018


Our Morning Offering – 7 May “Mary’s Month” – Monday of the Sixth week of Eastertide

Our Morning Offering – 7 May “Mary’s Month” – Monday of the Sixth week of Eastertide

Easter Act of Consecration

God has worked a great wonder:
Jesus is risen!
No longer are we caught in the cords of death,
For He has loosened our bonds.
No longer need we walk in fear,
For He has become our strong hope.
No longer are we alone and estranged,
For He has called us friends.
May your faith in the face of death,
even death on the cross,
May your hope,
almost buried with Him in the tomb,
May your love,
nearly staunched by the fear of his disciples,
May your joy in the Resurrected Saviour
be ours this day,
As we, in your name, for your honour,
live out our Easter mission.
To go forth and teach all peoples.
Holy Mother of God,
Mary ever Virgin,
intercede for us, with the Lord our God.
Ameneaster act of consecration - 7 may 2018

Posted in SAINT of the DAY, VATICAN Resources

Saint of the Day – 7 May – St Rose Venerini (1656-1728)

Saint of the Day – 7 May – St Rose Venerini M.P.V. (1656-1728) Religious, Foundress, Teacher, Innovator and Pioneer, Apostle of Charity – born (Rosa Venerini) on 9 February 1656 at Viterbo, Italy and died on 7 May 1728 at Rome, Italy of natural causes.   St Rose was a pioneer in the education of women and girls in 17th-century Italy and the foundress of the Religious Teachers Venerini (Italian: Maestre Pie Venerini), an religious order of women, often simply called the Venerini Sisters.   She was canonised by Pope Benedict XVI on 15 October 2006.Santa_Rosa_Venerini

Rosa Venerini, was born in Viterbo, on 9 February 1656.   Her father, Goffredo, originally from Castelleone di Suasa (Ancona), after having completed his doctorate in medicine at Rome, moved to Viterbo where he practised the medical profession brilliantly in the Grand Hospital.   From his marriage to Marzia Zampichetti, of an ancient family of Viterbo, four children were born:   Domenico, Maria Maddalena, Rosa and Orazio.

Rosa was naturally gifted with intelligence and an uncommon human sensibility.   The education that she received in her family allowed her to develop her many talents of mind and heart, forming her in steadfast Christian principles.   According to her first biographer, Father Girolamo Andreucci, S.I., she made a vow to consecrate her life to God at the age of seven.   During the early years of her youth, she lived through a conflict between the attractions of the world and the promise made to God.   Rosa overcame this crisis with trusting prayer and mortification.

At age twenty, Rosa raised questions about her own future.   The women of her time could choose only two orientations for their live:  marriage or the cloister.   Rosa esteemed both but she felt called to realise another project for the good of the Church and the society of her time.   Urged on by prophetic interior occurrences, she committed much time in suffering and searching before reaching a resolution that was completely innovative.

In the autumn of 1676, on the advice of her father, Rosa entered the Dominican Monastery of St Catherine, with the prospect of fulfilling her vow.   With her Aunt Anna Cecilia beside her, she learned to listen to God in silence and in meditation.   She remained in the monastery for only a few months because the sudden death of her father forced her to return to her suffering mother.   In the years immediately following, Rosa had to bear the burden of serious events for her family:  her brother Domenico died at only twenty-seven years of age;  a few months later her mother died, unable to bear the sorrow.

In the meantime, Maria Maddalena married.   There remained at home only Orazio and Rosa, by now twenty-four years old.   Challenged by the desire to do something great for God, in May of 1684, the Saint began to gather the girls and women of the area in her own home to recite the rosary.  The way in which the girls and women prayed and above all, their conversation before and after the prayer, opened the mind and heart of Rosa to a sad reality:  the woman of the common people was a slave of cultural, moral and spiritual poverty.   She then understood that the Lord was calling her to a higher mission which she gradually identified in the urgent need to dedicate herself to the instruction and Christian formation of young women, not with sporadic encounters but with a school understood in the real and true sense of the word.ST ROSE VENERINI 4

On 30 August 1685, with the approval of the Bishop of Viterbo, Cardinal Urbano Sacchetti and the collaboration of two friends, Gerolama Coluzzelli and Porzia Bacci, Rosa left her father’s home to begin her first school, according to an innovative plan that had matured in prayer and her search for the will of God.   The first objective of the Foundress was to give the girls of the common people a complete Christian formation and prepare them for life in society.   Without great pretence, Rosa opened the first “Public School for Girls in Italy”.   The origins were humble but the significance was prophetic, the human promotion and spiritual uplifting of woman was a reality that did not take long to receive the recognition of the religious and civil authorities.

The initial stages were not easy.   The three Maestre (teachers) had to face the resistance of clergy who considered the teaching of the catechism as their private office.   But the harshest suspicion came from conformists who were scandalised by the boldness of this woman of the upper middle class of Viterbo who had taken to heart the education of ignorant girls.   Rosa faced everything for the love of God and with her characteristic strength, continuing on the path that she had undertaken, by now sure that she was truly following the plan of God.   The fruits proved her to be right.   The same clergy soon recognised the moral improvement that the work of education generated among the girls and mothers.

The validity of this initiative was acknowledged and its fame went beyond the confines of the Diocese.   Cardinal Mark Antonio Barbarigo, Bishop of Montefiascone, understood the genius of the Viterbo project and he called the Saint to his diocese.   The Foundress, always ready to sacrifice herself for the glory of God, responded to the invitation.   From 1692 to 1694, she opened ten schools in Montefiascone and the villages surrounding Lake Bolsena.   The cardinal provided the material means and Rosa made the families aware, trained the teachers and organised the schools.   When she had to return to Viterbo to attend to the strengthening of her first school, Rosa entrusted the schools and the teachers to the direction of a young woman, St Lucia Filippini (1672-1732), in whom she has seen particular gifts of mind, heart and spirit.

After the openings in Viterbo and Montefiascone, other schools were started in Lazio. Rosa reached Rome in 1706 but the first experience in Rome was a real failure which marked her deeply and caused her to wait six long years before regaining the trust of the authorities.   On 8 December 1713, with the help of Abate Degli Atti, a great friend of the Venerini family, Rosa was able to open one of her schools in the centre of Rome at the foot of the Campidoglio.

On 24 October 1716, they received a visit from Pope Clement XI, accompanied by eight Cardinals, who wanted to attend the lessons.   Amazed and pleased, at the end of the morning he addressed these words to the Foundress: Signora Rosa, you are doing that which we cannot do.   We thank you very much because with these schools you will sanctify Rome ”.


From that moment on, Governors and Cardinals asked for schools for their areas.   The duties of the Foundress became intense, consisting of travels and hard work interwoven with joys and sacrifices for the formation of new communities.   Wherever a new school sprang up, in a short time a moral improvement could be noted in the youth.

Rosa Venerini died a saintly death in the community of St Mark’s in Rome on the evening of 7 May 1728.   She had opened more than forty schools.   Her remains were entombed in the nearby Church of the Gesù, so loved by her.   In 1952, on the occasion of her Beatification, they were transferred to the chapel of the Generalate in Rome.

We can summarise the charism of Rosa Venerini in a few words.   She lived consumed by two great passions:  passion for God and passion for the salvation of souls.   When she understood that the girls and women of her time needed to be educated and instructed in the truths of the faith and of morality, she spared nothing of time, hard work, struggle and difficulties of every kind, as long as it responded to the call of God.   She knew that the proclamation of the Good News could be received if people were first liberated from the darkness of ignorance and error.   Moreover, she intuited that professional training could give woman a human promotion and affirmation in society.   This project required an educating Community and Rosa, without pretense and well before its time in history, offered to the Church the model of the Apostolic Religious rosa end note

Rosa did not practice her educational mission only in the school but took every occasion to announce the love of God.   She comforted and cured the sick, raised the spirits of the discouraged, consoled the afflicted, called sinners back to a new life, exhorted to fidelity consecrated souls not observing their call, helped the poor and freed people from every form of moral slavery.

Educate to save became the motto that urged the Maestre Pie Venerini to continue the Work of the Lord intended by their Foundress and radiate the charism of Rosa to the world:  to free from ignorance and evil so that the project of God which every person carries within can be visible.


This is the magnificent inheritance that Rosa Venerini left her Daughters.   Wherever the Maestre Pie Venerini strive to live and transmit the apostolic concern of their Mother, in Italy as in other lands, they give preference to the poor.

After having made its contribution to the Italian immigrants to the USA from 1909 and in Switzerland from 1971 to 1985, the Congregation extended its apostolic activity to other lands:  India, Brazil, Cameroon, Romania, Albania, Chile, Venezuela and Nigeria.RoseVenerini

Posted in The HOLY CROSS

Apparition of the Holy Cross over Jerusalem and Memorials of the Saints – 7 May

Apparition of the Holy Cross over Jerusalem: Commemorates the appearance on 7 May 351, Pentecost that year, of a luminous image of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem.   It stretched from Mount Golgotha to the Mount of Olives (about two miles / three kilometers), was brighter than the sun, lasted several hours and was seen by the entire city.   It led to many conversions and was reported in a letter attribued to Saint Cyril of Jerusalem.

St Abba
St Agostino Roscelli
Bl Albert of Bergamo
Bl Antonio de Agramunt
St Augustine of Nicomedia
St Augustus of Nicomedia
St Cerenico of Spoleto
St Domitian of Huy
St Duje
St Flavia Domitilla of Terracina
St Flavius of Nicomedia
Bl Francesco Paleari
Bl Gisela of Ungarn
Bl Jan Eugeniusz Bajewski
St John of Beverley
St Juvenal of Benevento
St Maurelius of Voghenza-Ferrara
Bl Miqael of Ulompo
St Peter of Pavia
St Placid of Autun
St Quadratus of Herbipolis
St Quadratus of Nicomedia
St Rose Venerini (1656-1728)

St Serenicus of Hyesmes
St Serenus of Hyesmes
Bl Villanus of Gubbio