Thought for the Day – 5 July – The Memorial of St Anthony Mary Zaccaria (1502-1539)
Compassion for the sick and the poor led Dr Anthony Mary Zaccaria to see beyond the sick bodies of his patients and recognise the need for a different kind of healing. After becoming “Fr” Zaccaria, he tried to fill that need and dedicated the rest of his life to doing so. …….the Pauline ardour of his preaching would probably “turn off” many people today. When even some psychiatrists complain at the lack of a sense of sin, it may be time to tell ourselves that not all evil is explained by emotional disorder, subconscious and unconscious drives, parental influence and so on. The old-time “hell and damnation” mission sermons have given way to positive, encouraging, biblical homilies. We do indeed need assurance of forgiveness, relief from existential anxiety and future shock. But we still need prophets to stand up and tell us, “If we say ‘We are without sin,’ we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8). (Fr Don Miller OFM). St Anthony was such a prophet, he let God step in and lead him to a whole new set of plans. May we too allow God room in our boat to navigate us to a new way of life!
“We are fools for Christ’s sake:
our holy guide and most revered patron, was speaking about himself and the rest of the apostles and about the other people who profess the Christian and apostolic way of life.
But there is no reason, dear brothers, that we should be surprised or afraid; for the disciple is not superior to his teacher, nor the slave to his master. We should love and feel compassion for those who oppose us, rather than abhor and despise them, since they harm themselves and do us good and adorn us with crowns of everlasting glory while they incite God’s anger against themselves. And even more than this, we should pray for them and not be overcome by evil but overcome evil by goodness.
We should heap good works like red-hot coals of burning love upon their heads, as our Apostle urges us to do, so that when they become aware of our tolerance and gentleness they may undergo a change of heart and be prompted to turn in love to God.”
Quote/s of the Day – 5 July – The Memorial of St Anthony Mary Zaccaria (1502-1539)
“The centre and the source from which everything begins and to which everything returns.”
“The Eucharist is the living Crucifix!”
“If you want to obtain what you pray for, adapt yourself to it, that is, if you want humility, do not avoid humiliations.”
“Let them keep in mind, therefore, that there can be no humility without reproaches and mockery and anyone who feels ashamed of them … may as well abandon all hope, of being able to achieve perfection.”
“That which God commands seems difficult and a burden. The way is rough; you draw back; you have no desire to follow it. Yet DO SO – and you will attain glory.”
“What good thing could God deny us when He is the one who invites us to ask?”
One Minute Reflection – 5 July – The Memorial of St Anthony Mary Zaccaria (1502-1539)
But you, be self-possessed in all circumstances; put up with hardship; perform the work of an evangelist; fulfil your ministry……2 Timothy 4:5
REFLECTION – “In His mercy, God has chosen us, unworthy as we are, out of the world, to serve Him and thus to advance in goodness and to bear the greatest possible fruit of love in patience……We should keep running steadily in the race we have started, not losing sight of Jesus, who leads us in our faith and brings it to perfection.”……….St Anthony Mary Zaccaria (An excerpt from a letter of Saint Anthony to his congregation).
PRAYER – Lord, enable us to grasp in the spirit of Saint Paul, the sublime wisdom of Jesus Christ, the wisdom which inspired Saint Anthony Zaccaria to preach the message of salvation in Your church. Grant this, we pray, through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. St Anthony Mary Zaccaria, pray for us amen.
Our Morning Offering – 5 July 2018 – The Memorial of St Anthony Mary Zaccaria (1502-1539)
Prayer for the Intercession of St Anthony Mary Zaccaria
St Anthony Mary Zaccaria,
lover of the Cross and of the Eucharist,
helper of the poor and of the sick,
you who devoted your life
to promote the glory of God and
the salvation of souls, protect me,
and be my intercessor from heaven.
Obtain from Jesus,
true contrition for my sins;
inflame my heart
with sentiments of faith and love
to embrace my daily cross
and to lead others to Christ.
May your eyes follow me in every step,
your wise counsel enlighten me,
your hand uphold me,
your virtue make me holy.
May I follow your call
to holiness and renewal.
Help me to always keep
Jesus’ love and peace
with my brothers and sisters,
so that I may become worthy of Him
and receive eternal glory in heaven.
Saint of the Day – 5 July – St Anthony Mary Zaccaria C.R.S.P. (1502-1539) – Priest, Founder, Philosopher, Doctor of Medicine/Physician, Renewal of the Forty Hours’ Adoration Devotion, Preacher, Administrator, one of the early leader of the Counter Reformation. Founder of the The Clerics Regular of St Paul (the Barnabites) and the Angelic Sisters of St Paul.
Today we celebrate the life of Saint Anthony Mary Zaccaria. A renowned preacher and promoter of Eucharistic Adoration, he founded the order of priests now known as the Barnabites.
In 2001, the future Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, wrote the preface for a book on St Anthony Mary Zaccaria, praising the saint as “one of the great figures of Catholic reform in the 1500s,” who was involved “in the renewal of Christian life in an era of profound crisis.” “St Anthony”, Cardinal Ratzinger wrote, “deserves to be rediscovered” as “an authentic man of God and of the Church, a man burning with zeal, a demanding forger of consciences, a true leader able to convert and lead others to good.”
Anthony Mary Zaccaria was born into an Italian family of nobility in Cremona during 1502. His father Lazzaro died shortly after Anthony’s birth and his mother Antonietta – though only 18 years old – chose not to marry again, preferring to devote herself to charitable works and her son’s education. Antonietta’s son took after her in devotion to God and generosity toward the poor. He studied Latin and Greek with tutors in his youth and was afterward sent to Pavia to study philosophy. He went on to study medicine at the University of Padua, earning his degree at age 22 and returning to Cremona.
Despite his noble background and secular profession, the young doctor had no intention of either marrying or accumulating wealth. While caring for the physical conditions of his patients, he also encouraged them to find spiritual healing through repentance and the sacraments. He also taught catechism to children, and went on to participate in the religious formation of young adults. He eventually decided to withdraw from the practice of medicine and with the encouragement of his spiritual director, he began to study for the priesthood.
Ordained a priest at age 26, Anthony is experienced a miraculous occurrence during his first Mass, being surrounded by a supernatural light and a multitude of angels during the consecration of the Eucharist. Contemporary witnesses marvelled at the event and testified to it after his death.
Church life in Cremona had suffered decline in the late 15th and early 16th centuries. The new priest encountered widespread ignorance and religious indifference among laypersons, while many of the clergy were either weak or corrupt. In these dire circumstances, Anthony Mary Zaccaria devoted his life to proclaiming the truths of the Gospel both clearly and charitably. Within two years, his eloquent preaching and tireless pastoral care is said to have changed the moral character of the city dramatically.
In 1530, Anthony moved to Milan, where a similar spirit of corruption and religious neglect prevailed. There, he decided to form a priestly society, the Clerics Regular of St. Paul. Inspired by the apostle’s life and writings, the order was founded on a vision of humility, asceticism, poverty, and preaching. After the founder’s death, they were entrusted with a prominent church named for St Barnabas and became commonly known as the “Barnabites.”
St Anthony also founded a women’s religious order, the Angelic Sisters of St Paul and an apostolate, the Laity of St Paul, geared toward the sanctification of those outside the priesthood and religious life. He pioneered the “40 Hours” devotion, involving continuous prayer before the Blessed Sacrament.
In 1539, Anthony became seriously ill and returned to his mother’s house in Cremona. The founder of the Clerics Regular of St Paul died on 5 July during the liturgical octave of the Feast of Sts Peter and Paul, at the age of only 36.
St Elizabeth of Portugal (Optional Memorial in the USA)
St Agatho of Sicily
St Athanasius the Athonite
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Bl George Nichols
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St Triphina of Sicily
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