Thought for the Day – 9 July – Monday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time, Year B

Thought for the Day – 9 July – Monday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time, Year B

St John Vianney (1786-1859)

Before beginning your work, my dear brethren, never fail to make the Sign of the Cross.before beginning your work - st john vianney - 9 july 2018

Do not imitate those people without religion who dare not do this because they are in company.

Offer quite simply all your difficulties to God and renew from time to time this offering, for by that means you will have the happiness of drawing down the blessing of Heaven on yourself and on all you do.

Just think, my dear brethren, how many acts of virtue you can practice by behaving in this way, without making any change in what you are actually doing.   

If you work with the object of pleasing God and obeying His Commandments, which order you to earn your bread by the sweat of your brow, that is an act of obedience.   

If you want to expiate your sins, you are making an act of penance.

If you want to obtain some grace for yourself or for others, it is an act of hope and of charity.   

Oh, how we could merit Heaven every day, my dear brethren, by doing just our ordinary duties, but by doing them for God and the salvation of our souls!   Who stops you, when you hear the chimes striking, from thinking on the shortness of time and of saying in your minds:

“Time passes and death comes closer.   I am hastening towards eternity. Am I really ready to appear before the tribunal of God?Am I not in a state of sin?”

St John Vianney, Pray for us!st john vianney pray for us - 9 july 2018


Quote/s of the Day – 9 July – The Memorial of Blessed Adrian Fortescue T.O.S.D. (1476-1539) Martyr

Quote/s of the Day – 9 July – The Memorial of Blessed Adrian Fortescue T.O.S.D. (1476-1539) Martyr

“In Husbands Bosworth Hall, the residence of Miss Fortescue-Turville, the last direct descendant of the blessed martyr, was found some years ago a very precious relic, being nothing less than the Book of Hours which he habitually used.
The manuscript has suffered a good deal from time and careless handling but on the outer leaf can still be read another series of maxims, a kind of rule of life written and signed by the martyr’s own hand.   It will be seen how, while yet in the days of his prosperity, this truly Christian knight was preparing all unconsciously for the martyr’s crown and palm.
The Book of Hours is now reverently preserved as a relic in the beautiful little Catholic church adjoining the old hall of Husbands Bosworth :”

Quotations (slightly updated – from his famous Book of Hours)

…”Pray often.
Also enforce yourself
to set your house at quietness.
Resort to God every hour.”

“Be pitiful unto poor folk and help them to your power,
for there you shall greatly please God.”

“Give fair language to all persons
and especially to the poor and needy.”pray often - be pitiful unto poor folk - give fair language - bl adrian fortescue - 9 july 2018

“Banish from yourself all grudging and detraction
and especially from your tongue.”

“In prosperity be meek of heart
and in adversity patient.”

“Pray for perseverance.
Continue in dread
and ever have
God before your eye.”banish from yourself - in prosperity - pray for perseverance - bl adrian fortescue - 9 july 2018

“Also apply diligently
the inspirations of the Holy Spirit,
whatsoever you have therein to do.”

“If by chance you fall into sin,
despair not
and if you keep these precepts,
the Holy Spirit will strengthen you
in all other things necessary
and this doing you shall be
with Christ in Heaven,
to Whom be given laud,
praise and honour everlasting.”

Blessed Adrian Fortescue (1476-1539)also apply diligently - if by chance - bl adrian fortescue - 9 july 2018.jpg


One Minute Reflection – 9 July – The Memorial of Blessed Adrian Fortescue T.O.S.D. (1476-1539) Martyr

One Minute Reflection – 9 July – The Memorial of Blessed Adrian Fortescue T.O.S.D. (1476-1539) Martyr

“Even though I should have to die with you, I will not deny you.” And all the disciples spoke likewise”…Matthew 26:35.

REFLECTION – “The road is narrow.   He who wishes to travel it more easily must cast off all things and use the cross as his cane.   In other words, he must be truly resolved to suffer willingly for the love of God in all things.”…St John of the Cross (1542-1591) Doctor of the Churcheven though i should die - matthew 26-35 and the road is narrow - st john of the cross - 9 july 2018

PRAYER – O God, You specially strengthened Blessed Adrian Fortescue with a wonderful spirit of holiness and courage.   Hear the prayers of Your people and from his renowned example, may we learn to be obedient to You rather than to human authority.   We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amenbl adrian fortescue - 9 july 2018 - pray for us


Our Morning Offering – 9 July – The Memorial of Blessed Adrian Fortescue T.O.S.D. (1476-1539) Martyr

Our Morning Offering – 9 July – The Memorial of Blessed Adrian Fortescue T.O.S.D. (1476-1539) Martyr

A Dominican Offering

May God the Father bless us.
May God the Son heal us.
May God the Holy Spirit enlighten us,
and give us
eyes to see with,
ears to hear with,
hands to do the work of God with,
feet to walk with,
a mouth to preach
the word of salvation with,
and the angel of peace
to watch over us and lead us at last,
by our Lord’s gift, to the Kingdom.

a dominican offering - may god the father bless us - 8 july 2018


Saint of the Day – Blessed Adrian Fortescue (1476-1539) Martyr

Saint of the Day – Blessed Adrian Fortescue (1476-1539) Martyr

After a remarkable life, Bl. Adrian Fortescue died a martyr at the strike of an executioner’s blade at Tower Hill in 1539.   A husband and father, a Justice of the Peace, a Knight of the Realm, a Knight of Malta and a Dominican Tertiary (Lay Dominican),he was at once a loyal servant of the Crown so far as he could be but still more, he was a man of unshakeable faith.Bl Adrian Fortescue. large

The House of Fortescue into which Adrian was born is said to date from the Battle of Hastings where Richard le Fort saved William the Conqueror’s Life by the shelter of his “strong shield” and, thereafter, was called “Fort – Escu”.   His family had a history of service to the Crown although this was later complicated by the dynastic battles of The Wars of the Roses.   Vicissitudes notwithstanding, his great uncle, Sir John Fortescue (d.1479) became Chief Justice of the King’s Bench (1442-61).   Sir John’s writings on the law and politics of England were arguably the most significant contribution of the fifteenth century and are still studied by lawyers and political theorists today.   Adrian’s father, also named Sir John, fought for the victorious Lancastrians at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485 when Adrian was but a young boy.   And later in his life, Adrian’s first cousin, Anne Boleyn, became King Henry VIII’s second wife (before her eventual beheading in 1536).   We can say with some justification then that the Fortescues occupied a privileged position at the Rroyal court.

The first mention of Adrian Fortescue is in 1499, by which time, aged about 23, he was already married to Anne Stonor.   He lived at his wife’s family seat at Stonor Park in Oxfordshire.   This estate would later become the subject of an acrimonious legal dispute between him and his relative.   In 1503, on Prince Henry becoming Prince of Wales (after Prince Arthur’s death) Adrian was made a Knight of the Order of Bath.   Sir Adrian took the motto Loyalle Pensée;  his loyalty was indeed to be tested.

Like his forebears, Adrian served King Henry VIII in his ambitious military campaigns. He helped to rout the French the Battle of Spurs in 1513, and fought again in 1523.   King Henry rewarded his support and in 1520 invited him to the splendorous Field of the Cloth of Gold where Henry famously wrestled with the King of France.   Closer to home, Sir Adrian was made a Justice of the Peace of the county of Oxfordshire.   In this period of history, royal favour could also take more peculiar forms.   Sir Adrian had the dubious honour of being made a Gentleman of the King’s Privy Chamber, forerunner to the august body now known as the Privy Council.AdrianF

In addition to being an assiduous servant of the Crown, Sir Adrian was evidently also a man of strong religious conviction and charity.   His accounts reveal a number of benefactions to clergy and religious foundations.   In 1532, he became a Knight of Devotion in the Order of Malta.   The following year in July of 1533, he was admitted as a Dominican Tertiary at Blackfriars, Oxford, which he would visit from Stonor.   But he also had a strong association with the Dominican Priory in London.   His lodgings in the capital were in the precincts of the Blackfriars, close to the present eponymous tube station.

Not long after becoming a Lay Dominican, began what Adrian called his “trobilles”.   At the start of Summer 1533, he assisted in the Coronation of his cousin, Anne Boleyn – then six months pregnant – as Queen of England.   He must have realised that the marriage was not valid but perhaps thought, at that stage at least, that in the words of Sir Thomas More, it was not his business “to murmur at it or dispute upon it”.   This narrow compromise was to prove short-lived.

The King’s infidelity and presumption were rebuked when the Pope refused to grant an annulment declaring Henry’s marriage to Catherine as valid on 23rd March 1534.   The following month on 13th April, Bishop Fisher and Sir Thomas More refused to take the Oath of Succession.   Sir Adrian was similarly arrested that same year but he was released without explanation, probably in the Spring of 1535.   Fisher and More were afforded no such clemency and the two Saints were executed in Summer 1535.

The Act of Supremacy was also passed in 1535, making Henry supreme Head of the Church “immediately under God”.   As a matter of law, Henry expressly denied the Pope’s authority.   A writ affirming this and dated the following year can be found in Sir Adrian’s extant Missal.   Tellingly, perhaps, it has with a line struck through it:  apparent evidence of his disapproval.   The die, it seems, was cast.

In February 1539, Sir Adrian was again arrested and imprisoned in the Tower of London. In the sitting of Parliament that Spring, a number of laws were passed in what has been described as the most servile Parliamentary session in history.   Among the draconian laws enacted was a novel provision whereby a sentence of death might be passed without any trial of the accused.   Under this procedure, no evidence was needed, neither could a defence be heard.   Ironically, the architect of the law, Thomas Cromwell (then Lord Chancellor) was himself condemned by the same measure a year later leading to his own execution.   This device was put to use on 11th May 1535 when a Bill of Attainder was passed condemning fifty people of High Treason who opposed Henry’s ecclesiastical policies.   The names included Sir Adrian, Reginald Cardinal Pole, and the Countess of Salisbury.

adrian fortescue - martyr

Sir Adrian’s Book of Hours contains a Rule of Life written in his own hand and giving an insight into the interior life of a man who exemplified holiness and virtue in his conduct. He led a life of asceticism and honour, trying to follow God’s will in all things and daily seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit.   His pursuit of God’s truth brought him to a martyr’s death on 8th July 1539 (but possibly 9th or 10th) when he was beheaded at Tower Hill.   His servants were also killed for treason on the same day but were hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn.   As one later account neatly puts it, “Sir Adrian Fortescue died for his faith in Him whose acts Parliament was not competent to repeal”.

 Blessed Adrian, painting by Mattia Preti at St. John's Co-Cathedral, Valletta, Malta

Pope Leo XII declared Adrian Fortescue blessed on 13th May 1895 and as a layman, he ranks among the great Dominicans as an outstanding example to all Christians. … By Br Samuel Burke O.P.

Br Samuel Burke O.P. Br Samuel Burke is a deacon based in Rome where he is completing his studies at the Angelicum

Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 9 July

St Augustine Zhao Rong and his 119 companions or Martyrs of China (Optional Memorial; 119 Companions):  25 priests, friars, nuns, seminarians and lay people. The 87 Chinese Catholics and 33 Western missionaries, from the mid-17th century to 1930, were martyred because of their ministry and, in some cases, for their refusal to apostatise.
Many died in the Boxer Rebellion, in which xenophobic peasants slaughtered 30,000 Chinese converts to Christianity along with missionaries and other foreigners.
Canonised on 1 October 2000 by Pope John Paul II in Rome.

Bl Adrian Fortescue T.O.S.D. (1476-1539) Martyr
St Agrippinus of Autun
St Alexander of Egypt
St Audax of Thora
St Brictius of Martola
St Copra of Egypt
St Cyril of Gortyna
Bl Dionysius the Rhetorician
St Everild of Everingham
St Faustina of Rome
St Felician of Sicily
Bl Fidelis Chojnacki
St Floriana of Rome
St Hérombert of Minden
Bl Jane Scopelli
St Joachim Ho
Bl Luigi Caburlotto
Bl Marguerite-Marie-Anne de Rocher
Bl Marie-Anne-Madeleine de Guilhermier
Bl Marija Petkovic
St Patermutius of Egypt
St Paulina do Coração Agonizante de Jesus
St Ursula/Veronica Giuliani

Four Holy Polish Brothers – 4 saints:  Four brothers who became hermits, Benedictine monks and saints – Andrew, Barnabas, Benedict and Justus.   They were born in Poland and died in 1008 of natural causes.

Martyrs of Gorkum – 19 saints:  Nineteen martyrs killed by Calvinists for loyalty to the Pope and for their belief in the Real Presence in the Eucharist.   They are –
• Adrianus van Hilvarenbeek • Andreas Wouters • Antonius van Hoornaar • Antonius van Weert • Cornelius van Wijk • Francisus de Roye • Godfried van Duynen • Godfried van Melveren • Hieronymus van Weert • Jacobus Lacops • Joannes Lenaerts • John of Cologne • Leonardus van Veghel • Nicasius Janssen van Heeze • Nicolaas Pieck • Nicolaas Poppel • Petrus van Assche • Theodorus van der Eem • Willehad van Deem •
They werehanged on 9 July 1572 in Brielle, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands.
Beatified on 24 November 1675 by Pope Clement X and Canonised on 29 June 1867 by Pope Pius IX.

Martyrs of Orange – 32 beati:   32 nuns from several orders who spent up to 18 months in prison and were finally executed for refusing to renounce Christianity during the persecutions of the French Revolution.
• Anne Cartier • Anne-Andrée Minutte • Dorothée-Madeleine-Julie de Justamond • élisabeth Verchière • élisabeth-Thérèse de Consolin • Jeanne-Marie de Romillon • Madeleine-Françoise de Justamond • Madeleine-Thérèse Talieu • Marguerite-Eléonore de Justamond • Marguerite-Marie-Anne de Rocher • Marguerite-Rose de Gordon • Marguerite-Thérèse Charensol • Marie Cluse • Marie-Anastasie de Roquard • Marie-Anne Béguin-Royal • Marie-Anne Depeyre • Marie-Anne Doux • Marie-Anne Lambert • Marie-Anne-Madeleine de Guilhermier • Marie-Claire du Bac • Marie-Clotilde Blanc • Marie-Elisabeth Pélissier • Marie-Gabrielle-Françoise-Suzanne de Gaillard de Lavaldène • Marie-Gertrude de Ripert d’Alauzier • Marie-Marguerite Bonnet • Marie-Marguerite de Barbégie d’Albrède • Marie-Rose Laye • Rosalie-Clotilde Bes • Suzanne-Agathe Deloye • Sylvie-Agnès de Romillon • Thérèse-Henriette Faurie
They were guillotined between 6 July and 26 July 1794 at Orange, Vaucluse, France.
Beatified on 10 May 1925 by Pope Pius XI.

Martyrs of the Baths – 10,204 saints:   A group of Christians enslaved by Diocletian to build the gigantic baths in imperial Rome, Italy. The end of their labours coincided with the beginning of the great persecutions of Diocletian and they were all executed. Ancient records indicated there were 10,204 of them; Zeno of Rome is the only one whose name has come down to us and we know nothing else about any of their individual lives.
c 304.