Quote/s of the Day – 17 July – Tuesday of the Fifteenth week in Ordinary Time, B – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 11:20-24
Speaking of: Seeking Repentance with the Fathers
“When once you have departed this life, there is no longer any place for repentance, no way of making satisfaction. Here, life is either lost or kept. Here, by the worship of God and by the fruit of faith, provision is made for eternal salvation. Let no one be kept back either by his sins or by his years from coming to obtain salvation. To him who still remains in this world, there is no repentance that is too late.”
St Cyprian of Carthage (c 200- c 258)
Father of the Church
“Do you fast? Then feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, visit the sick, do not forget the imprisoned, have pity on the tortured, comfort those who grieve and who weep, be merciful, humble, kind, calm, patient, sympathetic, forgiving, reverent, truthful and pious, so that God might accept your fasting and might plentifully grant you the fruits of repentance.”
“Since it is likely that, being men, they would sin every day, St Paul consoles his hearers by saying ‘renew yourselves’ from day to day. This is what we do with houses: we keep constantly repairing them as they wear old. You should do the same thing to yourself. Have you sinned today? Have you made your soul old? Do not despair, do not despond but renew your soul by repentance and tears and Confession and by doing good things. And never cease doing this.”
“If repentance is neglected for an instant, one can lose the power of the Resurrection as he lives with the weakness of tepidity and the potential of his fall.”
St John Chrysostom (347-407)
Father and Doctor of the Church
“Reform yourself and so be always ready. Be not afraid of the last day, as a thief, who will break up your house as you sleep but awake and reform yourself today.”
“In failing to confess, Lord, I would only hide You from myself, not myself from You.”
St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of the Church
“To do penance is to bewail the evil we have done and to do no evil to bewail.”
St Pope Gregory the Great (540-604)
Father & Doctor of the Church
“Repentance raises the fallen, mourning knocks at the gate of Heaven and holy humility opens it.”
“Repentance is the renewal of baptism. Repentance is a contract with God for a second life. A penitent is a buyer of humility. Repentance is constant distrust of bodily comfort. Repentance is self-condemning reflection of carefree self-care. Repentance is the daughter of hope and the renunciation of despair. A penitent is an undisgraced convict. Repentance is reconciliation with the Lord by the practice of good deeds contrary to the sins. Repentance is purification of conscience. Repentance is the voluntary endurance of all afflictions. A penitent is the inflicter of his own punishments. Repentance is a mighty persecution of the stomach and a striking of the soul into vigorous awareness.”
“Confession is like a bridle that keeps the soul which reflects on it from committing sin but anything left unconfessed we continue to do without fear as if in the dark.”
One Minute Reflection – 17 July – Tuesday of the Fifteenth week in Ordinary Time, B – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 11:20-24.
“But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgement than for you..”…Matthew 11:22
REFLECTION – “The final judgement is already in progress, it begins now over the course of our lives. Thus judgement is pronounced at every moment of life, as it sums up our faith in the salvation which is present and active in Christ, or of our unbelief, whereby we close in upon ourselves. But if we close ourselves to the love of Jesus, we condemn ourselves. Salvation is, to open oneself to Jesus, it is He who saves us.”…Pope Francis – General Audience, 11 December 2013
PRAYER – Almighty God, to whom this world with all its goodness and beauty belongs, give us grace joyfully to begin this day in Your name and to fill it, with an active love for You and for our neighbour. Grant us the grace to repent of our sins, to turn to the Cross of Your Son and to beg Him in His great love and suffering to forgive us again! Mary, Holy Mother, intercede for us in our weakness and help us to turn our backs on sin and look only at the face of Christ. Amen
Our Morning Offering – 17 July – Tuesday of the Fifteenth week in Ordinary Time, B
Steer the Ship of My Life, Lord By St Basil the Great (329-379) Father & Doctor of the Church
Steer the ship of my life, Lord,
to Your quiet harbour,
where I can be safe from
the storms of sin and conflict.
Show me the course I should take.
Renew in me the gift of discernment,
so that I can see the right direction
in which I should go.
And give me the strength
and the courage
to choose the right course,
even when the sea is rough
and the waves are high,
knowing that through enduring
hardship and danger in Your name
we shall find comfort and peace.
Saint of the Day – 17 July – Blessed Pavol Peter Gojdic “The Man with a Heart of Gold”(pronunciation Goydich) O.S.B.M. (1888-1960) Martyr, Monk, Teacher, Basilian Bishop, Apostle of Charity, Eucharistic and Marian devotee. Born on 17 July 1888 at Ruské Peklany, PreSov, Slovak Republic as Peter Gojdic and died on 17 July 1960 in the prison hospital at Leopoldov, Hlohovec, Slovak Republic of illness and maltreatment received in prison. (O.S.B.M. The Order of Saint Basil the Great (Latin: Ordo Sancti Basilii Magni) also known as the Basilian Order of Saint Josaphat is a monastic religious order of the Greek Catholic Churches that is present in many countries and that has its Mother House in Rome (Santi Sergio e Bacco degli Ucraini). The order received approbation on 20 August 1631 and was based at the Holy Trinity monastery in Vilnius. Its monks, brothers and priests work primarily with Ukrainian Catholics and are also present in other Greek-Catholic churches in central and eastern Europe.
Pavol Gojdič was born on 17 July 1888 at Ruské Pekľany near Prešov, into the family of the Greek-Catholic priest Štefan Gojdič; his mother’s name was Anna Gerberyová. He received the name of Peter in baptism. Obeying God’s call to the priesthood he began his study of theology at Prešov, immediately after school. Since he obtained excellent results, he was sent a year later to continue his studies in Budapest. Here too he tried to lead a profoundly spiritual life. While still a seminarian, he was directed by his spiritual director on these lines: “Life is not difficult, but it is a serious matter”– words that were to guide him throughout his life. Having finished his studies on 27 August 1911 he was ordained priest at Prešov by Bishop Dr Ján Valyi. After his ordination he worked for a short period as assistant parish priest with his father. After a year he was appointed prefect of the eparchial seminary and at the same time taught religion in a higher secondary school. Later he was put in charge of protocol and the archives in the diocesan curia. He was also entrusted with the spiritual care of the faithful in Sabinov as assistant parish priest. In 1919 he became director of the episcopal office.
To everyone’s surprise on 20 July 1922 he joined the Order of St Basil the Great at Černecia Hora near Mukačevo, where, taking the habit on 27 January 1923 he took the name Pavol. He took this decision as a sign of modesty, humility and a desire to lead an ascetic life in order to better serve God. But God willed otherwise and had ordered him to a higher office as bishop. On 14 September 1926 he was nominated Apostolic administrator of the eparchy of Prešov. During his installation as Apostolic Administrator he announced the programme of his apostolate: “With the help of God I want to be a father to orphans, a support for the poor and consoler to the afflicted”.
The first official act of Pavol Gojdič in his office as newly appointed administrator of the eparchy of Prešov was to address a pastoral letter on the occasion of the 1100st anniversary of the birth of St Cyril, apostle of the Slavs. Thus he began his activity in the spirit of the apostle of the Slavs, always faithful to Rome, as they were. He was a Slav and was very fond of his oriental rite.
A short time later, on 7 March 1927 he was nominated bishop with the title of Harpaš (Church of Harpaš – in Asia Minor). The episcopal consecration took place in the basilica of San Clemente, Rome, on 25 March 1927, the feast of the Annunciation of Our Lady. After his episcopal ordination he visited the basilica of St Peter in Rome, where he prayed on the tomb of the Apostle. On 29 March 1927, together with Bishop Nyaradi, he was received in a private audience by the Holy Father Pius XI. The pope gave Bishop Pavol a gold cross saying: “This cross is only a faint symbol of the heavy crosses that God will send you, my son, in your work as bishop”.
For his episcopal programme he chose as a motto the following words: “God is love, let us love Him!”As bishop he was engaged in the promotion of spiritual life of both clergy and faithful. He insisted on the proper celebration of the liturgy and of church feasts. He erected new parishes, for instance, in Prague, Bratislava, Levoča and elsewhere. Thanks to his hard work the orphanage at Prešov was built and entrusted to the local sisters. His activity in the scholastic field was outstanding, as is proved by the foundation of the Greek-Catholic school in Prešov in the year 1936. He supported also the teaching academy, the seminary, colleges etc. He was interested in every aspect of spiritual reading, which resulted in the launching of the review Blahovistnik (Messenger of the Gospel), Da prijdet carstvije Tvoje (Thy Kingdom Come) and various prayers etc., published by the PETRA publishing house. For his kindness, caring and charitable relationship with the people he was described as “the man with a heart of gold”.
An important characteristic of the bishop was also his strong affection for the Eucharistic Saviour, which he continually strengthened through his visits to the Blessed Eucharist in the chapel at his residence. Another characteristic, not less evident, of his spiritual life, was his devotion to the Sacred Heart. Already as a Seminarian in Budapest he had consecrated himself to the Sacred Heart and this he confirmed every morning with the words “All the prayers, sacrifices and crosses, I offer, in reparation for the sins of the whole world!”. One must not forget that the bishop had great devotion to the Mother of God and as as a Marian devotee held in his residential chapel a picture of the Virgin of Klokočov, in front of which he prayed every day and to whose protection he entrusted himself and the whole eparchy.
On 13 April 1939 he was appointed apostolic administrator in Slovakia of the Apostolic Administration of Mukačevo. In the difficult situation of the Slovak State he became a “thorn in the flesh” for the representatives of the government of the time and so offered his resignation from the post – in fact the Holy Father refused his resignation but also made him residential bishop of Prešov. And so on 8 August 1940 he was solemnly enthroned at Prešov and then on 15 January 1946 confirmed in his jurisdiction over the Greek-Catholics in the whole of Czecho-Slovakia.
The progress in religious and spiritual life in the eparchy that followed the personal example and fervour of Bishop Pavol was interrupted by the events of war and especially with the coming to power of the communists in 1948. Their ideological programme made itself felt above all against the Greek-Catholic Church. Bishop Gojdič resisted any initiative to submit the Greek-Catholics to Russian orthodoxy assisted by the communist party and the power of the State, even though he knew he was risking persecution and arrest, maybe even death. Gradually he was isolated from the clergy and the faithful.
Even though put under severe pressure to renounce the Catholic faith and break unity with the Pope, he refused every attractive offer and exclaimed: “I am already 62 and sacrifice all my goods and residence but I will not deny my faith in any way because I want to save my soul. Do not even speak to me.”
During the sad event of Sobor of Prešov, 28 April 1950, when the State outlawed the Greek-Catholic Church and forbade her activity, Bishop Pavol Gojdič was arrested and interned. Thus began his via crucis in many prisons of what was Czecho-Slovakia, which ended with his death. In the days from the 11 to the 15 of January 1951 in a trial set up against the so called high treason Bishops (Vojtaššák, Buzalka, and Gojdič) he was given a life sentence; fined two hundred thousand crowns and deprived of all his civic rights. Transfers from one prison to another followed. Blessed Pavol suffered physical and psychological punishments, humiliations; he was forced to do the most difficult and degrading jobs. However, he never complained and never asked to be relieved. He made use of every available time to pray and celebrated the sacred liturgy in secret. Following the amnesty in 1953, given by State President A. Zapotocký, his life sentence was changed to 25 years detention. He was then 66 and his state of health deteriorated continuously. Yet all further requests for amnesty were refused.
Bishop Pavol Gojdič could only leave prison at the cost of his faithfulness to the Church and to the Holy Father. Various offers were made to him, as is proved by an event that he himself recounts: In the prison of Ruzyň he was received in an office, where he had been brought from his cell, by a high official in uniform. They informed him that from that office he could go straight to Prešov, on condition that he was willing to become patriarch of the Ortodox church in Czecho-Slovakia. The bishop refused this offer excusing himself and explaining that this would be a very grave sin against God, a betrayal of the Holy Father, of his conscience and of his faithful, most of whom were then suffering persecution.
Even in the most difficult situation he abandoned himself to the will of God, as can be seen from these words of his: “I do not really know whether it is a gain to exchange the crown of martyrdom with two or three years of life in freedom. But I leave the good Lord to decide”.On the occasion of his 70° birthday even the Holy Father Pius XII sent him a telegram in prison. In it he assured him he would not forget his heroic son. For the bishop this was one of his best days of his life.
A great desire of Blessed Pavol was to die comforted by the sacraments on his birthday. Both desires were fulfilled.
Father Alojz Vrána was transferred to the room of the prison hospital of Leopoldov (Slovakia), where the Bishop passed his last days and could hear his confession. The chalice of suffering of Blessed Pavol was about to overflow. An eye-witness of the last moments of his life was his fellow prisoner – the nurse František Ondruška, who has given a unique testimony. He confirmed that the desire of the bishop had been fulfilled – he died on 17 July 1960 that is on the day of his 72nd birthday. He died in the hospital of the prison of Leopoldov as a result of illness resulting from the ill treatment he had suffered. He was buried without ceremony in the prison cemetery in a nameless tomb, with the prison number 681.
As a result of the easing of the political situation in Czecho-Slovakia in 1968, the state autorities after many delays gave permission for exhuming the mortal remains of Blessed Pavol. This happened in the cemetery of Leopoldov on 29 October 1968 and was followed by the transfer of the remains to Prešov. By a decision of the authorities set up after the soviet occupation, these were transferred to the crypt of Greek-Catholic Cathedral of St John the Baptist in Prešov. From 15 May 1990 they are to be found in a sarcofagus in the chapel of the cathedral.
Bishop Pavol Gojdič was legally rehabilitated on 27 September 1990. Subsequently he was decorated posthumously with the Order of T G Masaryk – II class, and with the Cross of Pribina – 1st class.
The Holy Father, St John Paul II during his historic visit in Slovakia, while visiting Prešov, prayed at the tomb of this bishop-martyr in the chapel of the cathedral. He Beatified him on 4 November 2001.
St Alexius of Rome
St Andrew Zorard
Bl Arnold of Himmerod
Bl Biagio of the Incarnation
St Clement of Ohrid
St Ennodius of Pavia
St Fredegand of Kerkelodor
St Hedwig, Queen of Poland
St Hyacinth of Amastris
St Pope Leo IV
St Nerses Lambronazi
Bl Pavol Gojdic (1888-1960) Martyr
St Petrus Liu Zeyu
Bl Sebastian of the Holy Spirit
Bl Tarsykia Matskiv
St Theodosius of Auxerre
St Theodota of Constantinople
Martyrs of Compiegne (16 beati): Sixteen Blessed Teresian Martyrs of Compiègne.
Eleven Discalced Carmelite nuns, three lay sisters and two lay women servants who were martyred together in the French Revolution. They were the earliest martyrs of the French Revolution that have been recognized.
• Angelique Roussel • Anne Pelras • Anne-Marie-Madeleine Thouret • Catherine Soiron • élisabeth-Julitte Vérolot • Marie Dufour • Marie Hanniset • Marie-Anne Piedcourt • Marie-Anne-Françoise Brideau • Marie-Claude-Cyprienne Brard • Marie-Françoise de Croissy • Marie-Gabrielle Trezel • Marie-Geneviève Meunier • Marie-Madeleine-Claudine Lidoine • Rose-Chretien de Neuville • Thérèse Soiron •
They were guillotined on 17 July 1794 at the Place du Trône Renversé (modern Place de la Nation) in Paris, France.
Martyrs of Scillium (12 saints): A group of twelve Christians martyred together, the final deaths in the persecutions of Emperor Marcus Aurelius. Upon their conviction for the crime of being Christians, the group was offered 30 days to reconsider their allegiance to the faith; they all declined. Their official Acta still exist. Their names –
• Acyllinus • Cythinus • Donata • Felix • Generosa • Januaria • Laetantius • Narzales • Secunda • Speratus • Vestina • Veturius
They were beheaded on 17 July 180 in Scillium, Numidia (in North Africa).
Thought for the Day – 16 July – The Memorial of Our Lady of Mount Carmel
A 1996 doctrinal statement approved by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments states that:
“Devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel is bound to the history and spiritual values of the Order of the Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel and is expressed through the scapular. Thus, whoever receives the scapular becomes a member of the order and pledges him/herself to live according to its spirituality in accordance with the characteristics of his/her state in life.”
According to the Church on the Brown Scapular:
“The scapular is a Marian habit or garment. It is both a sign and pledge. A sign of belonging to Mary, a pledge of her motherly protection, not only in this life but after death.
As a sign, it is a conventional sign signifying three elements strictly joined:
first, belonging to a religious family particularly devoted to Mary, especially dear to Mary, the Carmelite Order;
second, consecration to Mary, devotion to and trust in her Immaculate Heart;
third, an urge to become like Mary by imitating her virtues, above all her humility, chastity and spirit of prayer.”
The Shorter Form of Blessing and Bestowing the Scapular of Our Lady of Mt Carmel.
The Postulant kneels before the Priest, who is vested in surplice and white stole and the Priest says:
V. Show us Your mercy, O Lord.
R. And grant us Your salvation.
V. O Lord, hear my prayer.
R. And let my cry come unto You.
V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with Your spirit. Let us pray:
O Lord Jesus Christ, the Saviour of men, bless † with Your right hand this habit which, for Your love and for the love of Your holy Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel, this Your Servant (Handmaid) shall wear devoutly, so that, through the intercession of the same Blessed Virgin, Your Mother, he (she) may be guarded against the wicked one and remain until death in Your grace. Who lives and reigns, world without end.
The Priest sprinkles the Scapular with holy water and, placing it upon the shoulders of the postulant, says:
Receive this blessed habit and pray the most Holy Virgin
that by her merits you may bear it without stain
and that she may guard you from all adversity
and bring thee unto life everlasting.
By the power that has been granted to me, I admit you to share in all the spiritual blessings which, through the cooperation of our merciful Saviour, Jesus Christ, are obtained by the Religious of Mount Carmel.
In the name of the Father and of the Son, † and of the Holy Ghost.
Almighty God, the Creator of heaven and earth, bless † you, He Who has vouchsafed to join you unto the Society and Confraternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel; let us beseech her, therefore, that in the our of your death she may bruise the head of the old serpent and that you may obtain the palm of victory and the crown of inheritance everlasting. Through Christ our Lord.
Then the Priest sprinkles the Recipient with holy water.
Notice--Scapulars of Our Lady of Mount Carmel can now be replaced by a MEDAL, having on one side the image of Our Lord showing His Sacred Heart and on the other, the image of the Blessed Virgin; even, ONE such medal can replace SEVERAL scapulars: but, then, it must receive just as many blessings as there are scapulars to be replaced, one sign of the Cross, however, suffices for each blessing.
Quote/s of the Day – 16 July 2018 – Monday of the Fifteenth week in Ordinary Time – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 10:34-42,11:1.
Speaking of: Seeking Abandonment to Divine Providence
with Father Jean-Pierre de Caussade S.J. (1675-1751)
“God instructs the heart, not by ideas but by pains and contradictions.”
“There is not a moment in which God does not present Himself under the cover of some pain to be endured, of some consolation to be enjoyed, or of some duty to be performed. All that takes place within us, around us, or through us, contains and conceals His divine action.”
“The books the Holy Spirit is writing, are living and every soul a volume, in which the divine author, makes a true revelation of His word, explaining it to every heart, unfolding it in every moment.”
“The duties of each moment are the shadows beneath which, hides the divine operation.”
“You would be very ashamed, if you knew what the experiences you call, setbacks, upheavals, pointless disturbances and tedious annoyances really are. You would realise that your complaints about them, are nothing more nor less, than blasphemies – though that never occurs to you. Nothing happens to you except by the will of God and yet [God’s] beloved children curse it, because they do not know it, for what it is!”
One Minute Reflection – 16 July – Monday of the Fifteenth week in Ordinary Time, B – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 10:34-42,11:1.
Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me...Matthew 10:37-38
REFLECTION – “A further means of staying faithful, Daughters, is perfect detachment from father, mother, relations and friends in such a way that you are God’s alone. And to possess this great good you have to strip yourself of everything and have nothing of your own. The apostles had just such a detachment. For one cent you will have a hundred, as many women, as many mothers which Providence, Daughters, will never fail you. Don’t you have any courage at all to give yourselves to the God who is so mindful of you? Never claim you are saving something for your own livelihood; always put your trust in Providence. Rich people can fall into need through the accidents that often happen but they will never be in want, who intend to rely solely on God.
Isn’t it good, Daughters, to live like this? What is there to fear? For God has promised that people who care for the poor will never lack anything. O my Daughters, would you not love God’s promises better than the world’s deceits? God is obliged to provide for all our needs.”…St Vincent de Paul (1581-1660) – Conferences to the Daughters of Charity
PRAYER – Grant us Your Grace O Holy God almighty, rule over our hearts and bodies this day. Sanctify us and guide our every thought, word and deed according to the commandments of Your divine Son, so that now and forever Your Grace may free us from the world and save us for Yourself. “May the Virgin Mary, first disciple and missionary of the Word of God, help us to take the message of the Gospel to the world, in humble and radiant exultance, beyond every rejection, incomprehension or tribulation. Amen”… Pope Francis
Our Morning Offering – 16 July – The Memorial of Our Lady of Mount Carmel
Prayer to Our Lady of Mount Carmel
O all-blessed, immaculate Virgin,
ornament and glory of Mount Carmel,
you, who looks with most gracious countenance,
on those who have been clothed
with your venerable livery,
look kindly also on me
and take me under the mantle
of your maternal protection.
Strengthen my weakness with your might;
enlighten the darkness of my heart
with your wisdom;
increase in me faith, hope and charity.
So adorn my souls with graces and virtues
that it may always be dear to your divine Son and to you.
Assist me during life,
comfort me in death with your most sweet presence
and present me as your child and faithful servant
to the most Holy Trinity,
that I may be enabled
to praise and extol you in heaven forever.
Amen (Say 3xHail Mary’s and 3xGlory Be’s)
Saint of the Day – 16 July – Blessed Bartholomew of the Martyrs or St Bartholomew of Braga O.P. ArchBishop of Braga (1514-1590) – Portuguese Dominican Friar and Priest, Writer, Theologian, Advisor, Teacher and Catechetical writer, Apostle of Charity founding a series of hospitals and hospices in Braga and surrounds – born as Bartolomeu Fernandes on 3 May 1514 in Lisbon, Portugal and died on 16 July 1590 in the monastery of Viana do Castelo, Minho, Portugal of natural causes. Patronage – Archdiocese of Braga.
Blessed Bartholomew was born near Lisbon on 3 May 1514 to Domingos Fernandes and Maria Correia. He was baptised mere hours after, in the local parish church of Nossa Senhora dos Mártires.
He entered the Order of Preachers on 11 November 1527 and later made his solemn profession into the order on 20 November 1529. On the completion of his own studies in 1538 he taught philosophical studies in the Convent of the Order at Lisbon and then for about two decades taught theological studies in the various houses of the Dominicans. In 1551 he received his Master’s degree at the provincial chapter of Salamanca in Spain. He also served as the prior of the Benfica Convent from 1557 to 1558 and was in Évora as a teacher from 1538 until 1557.
During the course of teaching theological studies at the Batalha Convent, he was summoned to Évora at the request of Luis of Portugal, Duke of Beja to undertake the religious education of his son who was entering the ecclesiastical life himself. He dedicated a great deal of his time to this task.
In 1558 – against his own desires – and out of obedience to his provincial superior (the Venerable Louis of Granada (1505-1588) he accepted the appointment to the Archepiscopal see of Braga for which Queen Catherine had chosen him and in 1559 received his episcopal consecration at the Convent of Saint Dominic on 3 September 1559 from the Bishop of Coimbra João Soares. In actual fact it was Luis of Grenada who was initially nominated to become the Archbishop though Luis urged the queen to select Fernandes instead. Pope Paul IV confirmed this appointment in the papal bull “Gratiae divinae praemium” on 27 January 1559. He devoted himself to the duties of his new office with his installation in his Archdiocese on 4 October 1559.
On the resumption of the Council of Trent in 1561, the Archbishop repaired to the Council and took part in the last sessions. He made a total of 268 suggestions at the council and collaborated with Saint Charles Borromeo. There was also one instance in which he pushed for the defense of a certain topic and opposed view of the Archbishop of Toledo Bartolomé Carranza. He was esteemed and held in high regard among the Council Fathers both on the account of his theological learning and the holiness of his life. Bartholomew exercised great influence in the discussions and more so with regard to the decrees on the reform of ecclesiastical life and development. The conclusion of that council saw him return to Braga in February 1564 and in 1566 he held an important provincial gathering of the diocese, in which decrees were passed for the restoration of ecclesiastical discipline and the elevation of the moral life of priests and people (“Concilium provinciale Bracarense quartum” in 1567). As Archbishop, Bartholomew now devoted himself to the task of enacting the reforms of the Council of Trent in addition to the decrees of his own provincial synod.
A great famine and a visitation of the plague, revealed the depths of his charitable and merciful nature, in addition to his willingness to aid his flock in their time of need; he also constructed a series of hospitals and hospices.
He made repeated requests to resign from his episcopal see and received papal permission from Pope Gregory XIII on 20 February 1582 to resign and withdraw to the Dominican Convent at Viana do Castelo where he lived in solitude for the remainder of his life but also serving as a teacher for some time.
Blessed Bartholomew died at Viana do Castelo on 16 July 1590.
The sainthood process commenced under Pope Benedict XIV on 11 September 1754 and he was titled as a Servant of God while Pope Gregory XVI later named him as Venerable on 23 May 1845. St Pope John Paul II Beatified Bartholomew in Saint Peter’s Square on 4 November 2001. Pope Francis – on 20 January 2016 – authorised the C.C.S. to work towards the Equipollent Canonization of the late archbishop and authorised that the second miracle required for his Canonization be waived as a result. It is probable that Blessed Bartholomew will be Canonised soon.
Blessed Bartholomew’s writings have been republished on numerous occasions and have also been translated into several languages. A collective edition is: “Opera omnia cura et studio Malachiae d’Inguinbert, archiepisc. Theodos.” (1 vol. Fol. In 2 parts, Rome, 1734–35).
Bl André de Soveral
St Andrew the Hermit
St Antiochus of Sebaste
Bl Arnold of Clairvaux
Bl Arnold of Hildesheim
St Athenogenes of Sebaste
Bl Bartholomew of Braga O.P. ArchBishop of Braga also known as Bl Bartholomew of the Martyrs (Bartolomeu Fernandez dei Martiri Fernandes) (1514-1590)
St Benedict the Hermit
Bl Claude Beguignot
Bl Domingos Carvalho
St Domnio of Bergamo
Bl Dorothée-Madeleine-Julie de Justamond
St Elvira of Ohren
St Eugenius of Noli
St Faustus of Rome and Milan
St Fulrad of Saint Denis
St Generosus of Poitou
St Gobbán Beg
St Gondolf of Saintes
St Grimoald of Saintes
St Helier of Jersey
Bl John Sugar
St Landericus of Séez
Bl Madeleine-Françoise de Justamond
Bl Marguerite-Rose de Gordon
Bl Marguerite-Thérèse Charensol
Bl Marie-Anne Béguin-Royal
Bl Marie-Anne Doux
St Marie Madeline Postel
Bl Marie-Rose Laye
Bl Milon of Thérouanne
Bl Nicolas Savouret
Bl Ornandus of Vicogne
St Paulus Lang Fu
St Reinildis of Saintes
Bl Robert Grissold
Bl Simão da Costa
St Sisenando of Cordoba
St Tenenan of Léon
St Teresia Zhang Heshi
St Valentine of Trier
St Vitalian of Capua
St Vitaliano of Osimo
St Yangzhi Lang
Martyrs of Antioch – 5 saints: Five Christians who were martyred together. No details about them have survived by the names – Dionysius, Eustasius, Maximus, Theodosius and Theodulus. They were martyred in Antioch, Syria, date unknown.
Sunday Reflection – 15 July – Fifteenth Sunday of the Year
“….in the Blessed Sacrament Our Lord Himself is the light which manifests Him as our model and reveals His beauties to us. He is Himself His light, His means of being known, just as the sun is itself its own proof. To make Himself known, He has only to show Himself. Recognition of Him need not come from its being reasoned out.
A child does not have to discourse with himself to recognise his parents. Our Lord reveals Himself through His presence, just as parents do. But as we grow to know His voice better and as our hearts become more sympathetic to Him in emptying themselves of what is not Him, our Lord manifests Himself in a clearer and more intimate manner, which only those know, who love Him. He gives the soul a divine conviction which overshadows the light of human reason.
Look at Magdalene: one word from Jesus and she recognises Him. He acts in the same way in the Blessed Sacrament: He says one word only but it rings in our very hearts: “It is I!….” We sense His Presence, we believe in it more firmly than if we were to see Him with bodily eyes.”
Thought for the Day – 15 July – Fifteenth Sunday of the Year – the Memorial of St Bonaventure (1221-1274) – Seraphic Doctor
Perhaps not a household name for most people, Saint Bonaventure, nevertheless, played an important role in both the medieval Church and the history of the Franciscan Order. A senior faculty member at the University of Paris, Saint Bonaventure certainly captured the hearts of his students through his academic skills and insights. But more importantly, he captured their hearts through his Franciscan love for Jesus and the Church. Like his model, Saint Francis, Jesus was the centre of everything—his teaching, his administration, his writing, and his life . So much so, that he was given the title “Seraphic Doctor.”
Bonaventure so united holiness and theological knowledge that he rose to the heights of mysticism while remaining a very active preacher and teacher, one beloved by all who met him. To know him was to love him; to read him is still for us today to meet a true Franciscan and a gentleman.
In his bull of Canonisation, Pope Sixtus IV wrote:
Bonaventure was great in learning but no less great in humility and holiness. His innocence and dove-like simplicity were such that Alexander of Hales, the renowned doctor whose disciple Saint Bonaventure became, used to say of him that it seemed as though Adam had never sinned in him.
A man of eminent learning and eloquence and of outstanding holiness, he was known for his kindness, approachableness, gentleness and compassion. – Pope Gregory X on hearing of the death of Bonaventure.
Let us learn from the great Saint himself, to grow in the fruits he possessed in such abundance – humility, kindness, gentleness, charity, chastity, generosity, joy, peace, patience, faithfulness, modesty and self-control. (Matthew 7: 15-20)
“We must beg the Holy Spirit, with ardent longing, to give us these fruits. The Holy Spirit alone, knows how to bring to light, the sweetness hidden away under the rugged exterior of the words of the Law. We must go to the Holy Spirit for interior guidance.”
St Bonaventure from Holiness of Life
St Bonaventure, Pray for us!
Prayer To Obtain the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit By St Bonaventure (1221-1274) – Seraphic Doctor
We, therefore, pray to the most kind Father through You, His only-begotten Son, who for us became man, was crucified and glorified, that He send us out of His treasures the Spirit of sevenfold grace who rested upon You in all fullness: the Spirit, I say, of WISDOM, that we may taste the life-giving flavours of the fruit of the tree of life, which You truly are; the gift also of UNDERSTANDING, by which the intentions of our mind are illumined; the gift of COUNSEL, by which we may follow in Your footsteps on the right paths; the gift of FORTITUDE, by which we may be able to weaken the violence of our enemies’ attacks; the gift of KNOWLEDGE, by which we may be filled with the brilliant light of Your sacred teaching to distinguish good and evil; the gift of PIETY, by which we may acquire a merciful heart; the gift of FEAR, by which we may draw away from all evil and be set at peace by submitting in awe to Your eternal majesty. for You have wished that we ask for these things in that sacred prayer which You have taught us; and now we ask to obtain them, through Your cross, for the praise of Your most Holy Name. to You, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, be honour and glory, thanksgiving, beauty and power, forever and ever. Amen
-From Prayer “To Obtain the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit” included at the closing The Tree of Life” ― Bonaventure, Bonaventure: The Soul’s Journey into God, the Tree of Life, the Life of St. Francis
Quote/s of the Day – 15 July – Fifteenth Sunday of the Year – the Memorial of St Bonaventure (1221-1274) – Seraphic Doctor
“God might have created a more beautiful world; He might have made heaven more glorious; but it was impossible for Him to exalt a creature higher than Mary in making her His Mother.”
“When we pray, the voice of the heart must be heard, more than that, proceeding from the mouth.”
“Although you feel tepid, approach with confidence, for the greater your infirmity, the more you stand in need of a physician.”
“Every creature is a divine word because it proclaims God.”
“Christ has something in common with all creatures. With the stone He shares existence, with the plants He shares life, with the animals He shares sensation and with the angels He shares intelligence. Thus all things are transformed in Christ since in the fullness of His nature, He embraces some part of every creature.”
One Minute Reflection – 15 July – Fifteenth Sunday of the Year – the Memorial of St Bonaventure (1221-1274) – Seraphic Doctor – 2nd Reading Ephesians 1:3-14.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens, as he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and without blemish before him.” … Ephesians 1:3-4.
REFLECTION – “Christ is both the way and the door. Christ is the staircase and the vehicle, like the “throne of mercy over the Ark of the Covenant” and “the mystery hidden from the ages.” A man should turn his full attention to this throne of mercy and should gaze at Him hanging on the cross, full of faith, hope and charity, devoted, full of wonder and joy, marked by gratitude and open to praise and jubilation. Then such a man will make with Christ a “pasch,” that is, a passing-over. Through the branches of the cross he will pass over the Red Sea, leaving Egypt and entering the desert. There he will taste the hidden manna and rest with Christ in the sepulcher, as if he were dead to things outside. He will experience, as much as is possible for one who is still living, what was promised to the thief who hung beside Christ: “Today you will be with me in paradise.” – from Journey of the Mind to God by Saint Bonaventure
PRAYER – God our Father, we are Your children and You have set us aside to come home to You by the light of the way of Your divine Son. Grant we pray, that we may grow in faith and love daily, by the intercession of Saint Bonaventure and may be a light of love, to all around us. We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 15 July – Fifteenth Sunday of the Year – the Memorial of St Bonaventure (1221-1274) – Seraphic Doctor
Excerpt from the Prayer after Holy Communion By St Bonaventure (1221-1274) Seraphic Doctor
Pierce, O most sweet Lord Jesus,
my inmost soul with the most joyous
and healthful wound of Your love
and with true, calm
and most holy apostolic charity,
that my soul may ever languish
and melt with entire love
and longing for You,
may yearn for You
and for Your courts,
may long to be dissolved
and to be with You.
Grant that my soul
may hunger after You,
the Bread of Angels,
the refreshment of holy souls,
our daily and supersubstantial bread,
having all sweetness and savour
and every delightful taste.
Saint of the Day – 15 July – St Bonaventure O.F.M. (1221-1274) – Doctor of the Church – known as the “Seraphic Doctor” – Friar, Bishop, Theologian, Philosopher, Writer, Mystic, Preacher, Teacher.
Sanctity and learning raised Bonaventure to the Church’s highest honours and from a child he was the companion of Saints. Yet at heart he was ever the poor Franciscan friar and practised and taught humility and mortification.
St Francis gave him his name, for, having miraculously cured him of a mortal sickness, he prophetically exclaimed of the child, “O bona ventura!”-good luck.
He is known also as the “Seraphic Doctor,” from the fervour of divine love which breathes in his writings. He was the friend of S. Thomas Aquinas, who asked him one day whence he drew his great learning. He replied by pointing to his crucifix. At another time St Thomas found him in ecstasy while writing the life of St Francis and exclaimed, “Let us leave a Saint to write of a Saint.” They received the Doctor’s cap together.
He was the guest and adviser of St Louis and the spiritual director of St Isabella, the king’s sister. At the age of thirty-five in 1257 he was made general of his Order and only escaped another dignity, the Archbishopric of York, by dint of tears and entreaties. Gregory X appointed him Cardinal Bishop of Albano.
When the Saint heard of the Pope’s resolve to create him a Cardinal, he quietly made his escape from Italy. But Gregory sent him a summons to return to Rome. On his way, he stopped to rest himself at a convent of his Order near Florence and there two Papal messengers, sent to meet him with the Cardinal’s hat, found him washing the dishes. The Saint desired them to hang the hat on a bush that was near and take a walk in the garden until he had finished what he was about. Then taking up the hat with unfeigned sorrow, he joined the messengers and paid them the respect due to their character.
He sat at the Pontiff’s right hand and spoke first at the Council of Lyons. His piety and eloquence won over the Greeks to Catholic union and then his strength failed.
He died while the Council was sitting and was buried by the assembled bishops, on 15 July 1274.
For more details on St Bonaventure’s life here: https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/07/15/saint-of-the-day-15-july-st-bonaventure-seraphic-doctor/
St Bonaventure of Bagnoregio O.F.M. (1221-1274) – Seraphic Doctor of the Church -(Memorial)
Dispersion of the Apostles: Commemorates the missionary work of the Twelve Apostles. It was first mentioned in the 11th century and was celebrated in the northern countries of Europe during the Middle Ages. It is now observed in Germany, Poland and some dioceses of England, France and the United States.
St Abundantia of Spoleto
St Abudemius of Bozcaada
St Adalard the Younger
St Anrê Nguyen Kim Thông
Bl Anne Mary Javhouhey
Bl Antoni Beszta-Borowski
St Athanasius of Naples
St Antiochus of Sebaste
St Benedict of Angers
Bl Bernard of Baden
Bl Ceslas Odrowaz
St David of Sweden
St Eberhard of Luzy
St Edith of Tamworth
St Felix of Pavia
St Gumbert of Ansbach
St Haruch of Werden
St Jacob of Nisibis
St Joseph Studita of Thessalonica
Bl Michel-Bernard Marchand
Bl Peter Aymillo
St Phêrô Nguyen Bá Tuan
St Plechelm of Guelderland
Bl Roland of Chézery
St Valentina of Nevers
St Vladimir I of Kiev
Martyred Jesuit Missionaries of Brazil – 40 beati: A band of forty Spanish, Portugese and French Jesuit missionaries martyred by the Huguenot pirate Jacques Sourie while en route to Brazil. They are –
• Aleixo Delgado • Alonso de Baena • álvaro Borralho Mendes • Amaro Vaz • André Gonçalves • António Correia • Antônio Fernandes • António Soares • Bento de Castro • Brás Ribeiro • Diogo de Andrade • Diogo Pires Mimoso • Domingos Fernandes • Esteban Zuraire • Fernando Sánchez • Francisco Alvares • Francisco de Magalhães • Francisco Pérez Godoy • Gaspar Alvares • Gonçalo Henriques • Gregorio Escribano • Ignatius de Azevedo • Iõao • João Fernandes • João Fernandes • Juan de Mayorga • Juan de San Martín • Juan de Zafra • Luís Correia • Luís Rodrigues • Manuel Alvares • Manuel Fernandes • Manuel Pacheco • Manuel Rodrigues • Marcos Caldeira • Nicolau Dinis • Pedro de Fontoura • Pedro Nunes • Simão da Costa • Simão Lopes •
They were martyed on 15 and 16 July 1570 on the ship Santiago near Palma, Canary Islands. They were beatified on 11 May 1854 by Pope Pius IX.
Martyrs of Alexandria – 13 saints: Thirteen Christians who were martyred together. We know the names of three, no details about them and the other ten were all children. – Narseus, Philip and Zeno. Martyred in the early 4th-century in Alexandria, Egypt.
Martyrs of Carthage – 9 saints: A group of nine Christians who were martyred together. We know nothing else but their names – Adautto, Catulinus, Felice, Florentius, Fortunanziano, Januarius, Julia, Justa and Settimino. They were martyred in Carthaginian and their relics at the basilica of Fausta at Carthage.
Martyrs of Pannonia – 5 saints: Five 4th-century martyrs killed together. No information about them has survived except the names – Agrippinus, Fortunatus, Martialis, Maximus and Secundinus.
Thought for the Day – 14 July – The Memorial of St Camillus de Lellis (1550-1614) “The Giant of Charity”
Every day in the wards of hospitals or in the streets, wherever Camillus was in contact with the sick, he encountered Christ on the crucifix who became for him a daily partner. Not only did he think about Him and pray to Him but he also housed Him, fed Him, gave Him water to drink and clothed Him. He gave himself and in his self-giving he felt that he was the beneficiary. ‘This crucified Christ’, he exclaimed, ‘has helped me and comforted me a great deal and certainly, I do not merit all the graces, He has done me’. He attributed to Him the merit of founding the Institute: ‘In the foundation of this little plant a lion heart could have lost himself, as well as a miserable man such as I am, if the crucified Christ had not helped and comforted me’. The signs of the cross were also impressed on his afflicted body: – his leg with its sore, the corns on his feet, his kidney stones, the hernia in his groin and the tumour in his stomach. In his testament he declared his self-abandonment to the crucified Christ, to whom he commended himself like the prodigal son who went back to his father and the good thief who called for mercy.
The crucified Christ entered his life and was never to leave him. Camillus wanted to have on his habit the Sign of the Cross in order ‘to demonstrate that this is a religion of the Cross…so that those who want to follow our way of life will get ready…to follow Jesus Christ unto death’. He wanted it to be dark red ‘because more like the true wood of the most holy Cross on which the Redeemer of the World died and was appended’.
In the exercise of this very demanding and radical service to the sick, Camillus was guided by the Holy Spirit along the two fundamental lines of evangelical love: 1) recognising that we are serving Christ in the person of the sick and 2) being an expression of the merciful Christ who is serving the sick. Camillus really identified the suffering Christ in the sick to the point of calling them ‘my Lords and Masters’. Camillus brought about the complete service to the sick by concentrating on their spiritual and corporeal needs.
For the Order of the Ministers of the Infirm, the Fourth Vow, that is the vow along with the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, to serve the sick with total commitment at the risk of one’s life, represents the special feature of their particular style of consecrated religious life. For Camillians serving the sick is the ‘locus theologicus’ where it fulfils and expresses its identity as a community of men, consecrated to God and entrusted with mission of establishing the Kingdom as a means of salvation for all the sick.
One Minute Reflection – 14 July – The Memorial of St Camillus de Lellis (1550-1614)
Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, nor has it so much as dawned on man what God has prepared for those who love him………1 Cor 2:9
REFLECTION – “The happiness to which I aspire is greater than anything on earth. Therefore, I regard with extreme joy, whatever pains and sufferings may befall me here.”………St Camillus de Lellis
PRAYER – Heavenly Father, keep our minds fixed on the surpassing joys stored up for us in heaven. And let us be willing to put up with all sufferings and pains that may come upon us for the reparation of sin. Grant that by the intercession of St Camillus de Lellis, we may grow in holiness, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 14 July – Saturday of the 14th Week in Ordinary Time, Year B
Sweet Light! By St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (1891-1942)
Who are You,
sweet Light, that fills me
the darkness of my heart?
You lead me like a mother’s hand,
And should You let go of me,
I would not know
how to take another step.
You are the space
That embraces my being
and buries it in Yourself.
Away from You,
it sinks into the abyss
from which You raised it to the light.
You, nearer to me than I to myself
And more interior
than my most interior
And still impalpable
And beyond any name,
Holy Spirit eternal love!
Saint of the Day – 14 July – St Camillus de Lellis M.I. (1550-1614) Priest and Founder, known as “The Giant of Charity”.
The early years of Camillus gave no sign of sanctity. At the age of nineteen he took service with his father, an Italian noble, against the Turks and after four years hard campaigning found himself, through his violent temper, reckless habits and inveterate passion for gambling, a discharged soldier and in such straitened circumstances that he was obliged to work as a labourer on a Capuchin convent which was then being built. A few words from a Capuchin friar brought about his conversion and he resolved to become a religious.
Thrice he entered the Capuchin novitiate but each time an obstinate wound in his leg forced him to leave. He repaired to Rome for medical treatment and there took St Philip as his confessor and entered the hospital of St Giacomo, of which he became in time the superintendent. The carelessness of the paid chaplains and nurses towards the suffering patients now inspired him, with the thought of founding a congregation to minister to patients. Members of his order worked in hospitals, prisons and in the homes of those afflicted by disease. The order’s original name, the “Fathers of a Good Death,” reflected the desire to aid in their spiritual salvation and prepare the dying to receive their last rites. Later known as the Order of the Ministers of the Sick, or simply as the “Camillians,” the group received papal approval in 1586 and was confirmed as a religious order in 1591. In addition to the traditional vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, they took a vow of unfailing service to the sick.
Summoned at every hour of the day and night, the devotion of Camillus never grew cold. With a woman’s tenderness he attended to the needs of his patients. He wept with them, consoled them and prayed with them. He knew miraculously, the state of their souls and St Philip saw angels whispering to two Servants of the Sick who were consoling a dying person. One day a sick man said to the Saint, “Father, may I beg you to make up my bed? it is very hard.” Camillus replied, “God forgive you, brother! You beg me! Don’t you know yet that you are to command me, for I am your servant and slave.”“Would to God,” he would cry, “that in the hour of my death one sigh or one blessing of these poor creatures might fall upon me!”
Camillus himself suffered physical ailments throughout his life. His leg wound failed to heal over the course of almost five decades, in addition to which he suffered from sores and severe kidney trouble. But he is said to have spent time with the sick even while unable to walk, by crawling from bed to bed.
The founder of the Ministers of the Sick lived to assist at a general chapter of his order in Rome during 1613 and to make a last visitation of many of their hospitals. Learning that he himself was incurably ill, Camillus responded: “I rejoice in what has been told me. We shall go into the house of the Lord.”
Receiving the Eucharist for the last time, he declared: “O Lord, I confess I am the most wretched of sinners, most undeserving of your favour but save me by your infinite goodness. My hope is placed in your divine mercy through your precious blood.”
After giving his last instructions to his fellow Ministers of the Sick, St Camillus de Lellis died on 14 July 1614. He was Canonised by Benedict XIV in 1746 and later named – along with Saint John of God – as one of the two main co-patrons of nurses and nursing associations in 1930.
Our Lady of Dromon: Saint-Geniez, Alpes de Haute-Provence, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, France
In 1656, about 2.5 miles from the alpine village of Saint-Geniez, as 12-year-old herder Honoré was praying before a wooden cross on a stone mound, he heard the voice of the Blessed Virgin asking him to dig there to uncover chapels dedicated to her long ago. Excavations on the mountain located a crypt chapel dating back to around 1000, on the site of the ancient city of Theopolis. The upper chapel holds an alabaster statue of the Virgin and Child from the 1600s. The annual pilgrimage takes place on Bastille Day, 14 July.
Bl Angelina di Marsciano
Bl Boniface of Canterbury
St Colman of Killeroran
St Cyrus of Carthage
St Deusdedit of Canterbury
St Donatus of Africa
Bl Dorotea Llamanzares Fernández
St Francis Solano
Bl Giorgio of Lauria
Bl Hroznata of Bohemia
Bl Humbert of Romans
St Idus of Ath Fadha
St Ioannes Wang Kuixin
St Justus of Rome
St Kateri Tekakwitha (Optional Memorial USA)
Bl Michael Ghebre
St Optatian of Brescia
St Papias of Africa
Bl Toscana of Verona
St Ulric of Zell
Thought for the Day – 13 July – Friday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time, Year B – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 10:16-23.
“Jesus said to his Apostles:
“Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves”
Jesus’ sending disciples on mission does not guarantee their success, just as it does not protect them from failure and suffering. They have to take into account both the possibility of rejection and that of persecution. This is somewhat frightening but it is the truth.
The disciple is called to conform his life to Christ who was persecuted by men, knew rejection, abandonment and death on the cross. There is no Christian mission marked by tranquility! Difficulties and tribulations are part of the work of evangelisation and we are called to find in them the opportunity to test the authenticity of our faith and of our relationship with Jesus. We must consider these difficulties as the opportunity to be even more missionary and to grow in that trust toward God our Father, who does not abandon His children during the storm.
Even in our day, brothers and sisters, persecution against Christians is present.
Their example helps us not to hesitate in taking the position in favour of Christ, bearing witness bravely in everyday situations.
Besides sending us out as “sheep in the midst of wolves”, the Lord even in our times sends us out as sentinels in the midst of people who do not want to be woken from their worldly lethargy which ignores the Gospel’s words of Truth, building for themselves their own ephemeral truths. And if we go to or live in these contexts and we proclaim the Words of the Gospel, this is bothersome and they will look at us unkindly.
But in all this, the Lord continues to tell us, as He did to the disciples of His time: “Do not fear!”…Pope Francis (Angelus, 25 June 2017)
“When they deliver you up, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour; for it is not you who speak but the Spirit of your Father, speaking through you.”…Matthew 10:19-20
One Minute Reflection – 13 July – The Memorial of St Henry (972-1024) Holy Roman Emperor
Not on bread alone is man to live but on every utterance that comes from the mouth of God………….Matthew 4:4
REFLECTION – “These are fountains of salvation, that they who thirst, may be satisfied, with the living words they contain. In these is proclaimed the doctrine of godliness. Let no man add to these, neither let him take out from these.”…….St Athanasius of Alexandria (297-373) Father and Doctor of the Church
PRAYER – Heavenly Father, inspire me to meditate on Your holy words every day and fill me with Your Holy Spirit, that I might not only understand them but be filled with the desire to follow and live their instructions. May they be a consolation, a strength and an assistance on my journey to You. St Henry – you were inspired and strove to live by the Holy Scriptures, please pray for us all, amen.
Saint of the Day – 13 July – Saint Clelia Barbieri (1847-1870) – Foundress of the Congregation of the “Suore Minime dell’Addolorata” Little Sisters of the Mother of Sorrows, Catechist, Mystic – Born on 13 February 1847 in Le Budrie di Persiceto, Bologna, Papal States and died on 13 July 1870 (aged 23) in Le Budrie di Persiceto, Bologna, Kingdom of Italy. Patronages – Little Sisters of the Mother of Sorrows, Catechists, People ridiculed for their piety.
Clelia Barbieri was born to Giacinta Nannetti and Giuseppe Barbieri, on 13 February 1847 in a village called “Budrie” of St Giovanni in Persiceto in the outskirts of Bologna, Italy and in the Archdiocese of Bologna.
Her parents were of different origins: Giuseppe Barbieri came from perhaps the poorest family of “Budrie” while Giacinta from the most important family in town: he worked as servant for Giacinta’s uncle, the district’s medical doctor, while she was the daughter of the well-to-do Pietro Nannetti. After her much-contested wedding, the wealthy Giacinta accepted the poverty of a labourer’s life and moved from a comfortable home to the humble cottage of her father-in-law, Sante Barbieri; nevertheless forming a family built on the rock of faith and a totally Christian life.
In line with her mother’s expressed wish, she was baptised Clelia Rachele Maria on the very day of her birth. Her mother taught Clelia to love God early in her life placing in her heart the desire for sanctity. One day Clelia asked her, “Mother, how can I become a saint?” In the meantime Clelia also learned the art of sewing, spinning and weaving kemp which was the most important work of the district.
In 1855, during a cholera epidemic the then eight-year-old Clelia lost her father and through the generosity of her uncle, the doctor, she, her mother and younger sister Ernestina moved into a more comfortable house near the parish church. For Clelia the days became more saintly and dedicated. Anyone who wanted to see her could always find her either at home weaving and sewing or in church praying. Although it was usual at that time to receive First Communion almost at adulthood, Clelia due to her unusual catechistic preparation and spirituality, made hers on 17 June 1858, at only eleven years of age. This was a decisive day for Clelia’s future since it was then that she had her first mystic experience: exceptional contrition and repentance for her own sins and those of the world. She underwent anguish and suffering for the sins that crucified Christ and for the sorrows of Our Lady. From the day of her First Communion, the crucifix and Our Lady of Sorrows inspired her saintly soul.
At the same time she had a first inspiration as to her future which she perceived as based on prayer and good works.
In adoration before the Holy Tabernacle she was motionless, rapt in prayer, while at home she was the companion and model for the other working girls. Far more mature than her years, she found in her work the first contact with the girls of “Budrie” where working hemp fibers was the main occupation and where all were engaged in this hard work. Clelia brought something particularly personal to her little world, she worked with joy and love, praying and thinking of God at all times and even speaking of Him to her companions.
While Clelia was not Martha, (completely devoted to the cares of the world), yet she dedicated herself lovingly to the service of those most loved by Our Lord, the very poor, to the extent that her delicate hands were marked early in her short life with the hard labours she undertook. While Clelia was not Mary who abandoned, excluded and neglected everything to prostrate herself in love and devotion, yet Clelia had no other thought, no other love than that for Our Lord whom she carried in her heart and soul as she walked with Him through life as if already in His world. She lived in charity, completely dedicated to loving her fellowmen without restraint. She forgot and even ignored her body. She was happy to belong to the Lord and her happiness rested, in fact, in thinking only of Him. Something, however, compelled her to turn towards her fellowmen, the poorest and most tried, who often waited in vain for some small sign of love and brotherhood. A fervent faith burned inside her and she felt that she “must go” to give herself to all of God’s poor. She loved that solitude which would permit her to reach God more fully but she left the protection of her home and went forth inspired by her all-consuming love for mankind.
At this time in history, there existed in the Church a group called “The Christian Catechism Workers” who were mainly men whose aim it was to combat the prevalent religious negligence of the times. At “Budrie” the group was led by an elderly schoolteacher. Clelia became one of the Christian Catechism Workers. Then, at “Budrie” with her acceptance, the catechism group was reborn and attracted others with her very same dedication and faith. At first, Clelia was admitted as an assistant teacher and was the least important member but soon her surprising talents and preparation evidenced themselves, so that the senior members placed themselves under her leadership.
Having rejected several flattering marriage proposals, the group of young ladies which had sprung up from the Catechism group, elected Clelia as their leader and conceived the idea of a community devoted to an apostolic and contemplative way of life. This was to be a life of service which would spring from the Eucharist with daily Holy Communion and would ennoble itself with the teaching of catechism to the farmers and labourers of the area. The idea could not become a reality immediately due to the political situation at the time of Italy’s unification (1866-67). However, it was finally realised on 1 May 1868 when with the bureaucratic and local problems solved, Clelia and her young friends moved into the so-called “teacher’s house” where the Workers for Christian Catechism had formerly met. This was the humble beginning of Clelia Barbieri’s religious family which later was to be named the religious community of the “Suore Minime dell’Addolorata”, Little Sisters of the Mother of Sorrows. “Minime” because of Clelia’s devotion to the saint, Minimo Romito di Paola, St Francesco, patron and provident protector of the young community; “dell’Addolorata” because this title of Our Lady of Sorrows was the most loved of all of Our Lady’s titles by Clelia Barbieri.
After moving into “the teacher’s house”, a series of extraordinary events in the form of assistance to the young community occurred which were undoubtedly the work of Divine Providence and without which the group could never have survived. The small group was inspired by Clelia’s physical and moral sufferings in her darkest hours and in the absurd humiliations she endured at the hands of those who should have been more understanding. However, her faith and devotion in prayer were always extraordinary. In the small “Budrie” community there was faith, a desire for God and a missionary zeal full of creativity and imagination by no means based on any external support which was virtually nonexistent. Clelia was the moving spirit. The small initial group grew as well as the number of poor, sick and young boys and girls needing catechism and religious instruction.
Slowly, the people began to see Clelia as a leader and teacher of the faith. They started calling her “Mother” although she was only twenty-two years old. They called her with this title until her death which came about very shortly. The dormant tuberculosis she had always carried, suddenly flared up only two years after she had founded the order.
Clelia died prophesying to the sister at her bedside, “I’m leaving but I’ll never abandon you. When in that alfalfa field next to the church there will be a new community house, I will no longer be with you … You will grow in number and you will expand over plains and mountains to work in the vineyard of the Lord. The day will come when here at ‘Budrie’ many will arrive with carriages and horses …” And she added, “I’m going to Heaven and all those who will die in our community will enjoy eternal life”.
She died on 13 July 1870 with the happiness of one going to meet her Spouse and beloved Lord. Clelia’s death prophecy has been fulfilled.
Her religious order has expanded and continues to grow. It extends throughout Italy, in India and in Tanzania. Today, the sisters following in Clelia’s footsteps, humbly continue their useful work of assistance to all in need and now number hundreds spread over thirty-five community houses.
Being only twenty three at the time of her death, Clelia Barbieri is the youngest founder of a religious community in the history of the Church.
She was Canonised at Rome on 9 April 1989 by St Pope John Paul II...vatican.va
Barbieri’s death soon resulted in an unusual and unexplained occurrence that has often been reported in the various parishes that she visited and in the houses in which her order is located at. Her voice is often heard during scriptural readings and songs and this voice never speaks alone but is heard as part of a group. People from various backgrounds have reported hearing the voice which is described to be unlike any they have ever heard. The first reported occurrence happened in 1871 when the sisters of her congregation were in their usual evening meditation.
Bl Anne-Andrée Minutte
St Arno of Würzburg
Bl Barthélemy Jarrige de la Morelie de Biars
Bl Berthold of Scheide
St Clelia Barbieri (1847-1870)
Bl Élisabeth Verchière
St Emanuele Lê Van Phung
St Esdras the Prophet
St Eugene of Carthage
Bl Ferdinand Mary Baccilleri
St Iosephus Wang Kuiju
Bl James of Voragine
Bl Jean of France
St Joel the Prophet
Bl Louis-Armand-Joseph Adam
Bl Mariano de Jesus Euse Hoyos (1845-1926)
Bl Marie-Anastasie de Roquard
Bl Marie-Anne Depeyre
Bl Marie-Anne Lambert
St Mildred of Thanet
St Muritta of Carthage
St Paulus Liu Jinde
St Salutaris of Carthage
St Sarra of Egypt
St Serapion of Alexandria
Serapion of Macedonia
Bl Thérèse-Henriette Faurie
Bl Thomas Tunstal
Martyrs of Cyprus – 300 saints: 300 Christians who retired to Cyprus to live as cave hermits, devoting themselves to prayer and an ascetic life devoted to God. Tortured and martyred for their faith and their bodies dumped in the various caves in which they had lived. We know the names of five of them but no other details even about them – Ammon, Choulélaios, Epaphroditus, Eusthénios and Héliophotos. They were beheaded in the 12th century on Cyprus and their bodies dumped in the cave where they had lived and only rediscovered long afterwards.
Martyrs of Philomelio – 31 saints: 31 soldiers martyred for their faith in the persecutions of prefect Magno, date unknown. The only name that has come down to us is Alexander. In Philomelio, Phrygia (in modern Turkey).