Saint Louis-Marie de Montfort’s Total Consecration to Jesus Through Mary – Third Week – Day Twenty-Eight – 13 November
Day 28 of 33
Matthew 26:1, 26-29, 36-46
And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended all these words, he said to his disciples: You know that after two days shall be the pasch and the son of man shall be delivered up to be crucified…
…And whilst they were at supper, Jesus took bread and blessed, and broke it and gave to his disciples and said: Take and eat. This is my body. And taking the chalice, he gave thanks and gave to them, saying: Drink all of this . For this is my blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many unto remission of sins. And I say to you, I will not drink from henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I shall drink it with you new in the kingdom of my Father…
…Then Jesus came with them into a country place which is called Gethsemani and he said to his disciples: Sit you here, till I go yonder and pray. And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to grow sorrowful and to be sad. Then he said to them: My soul is sorrowful even unto death, remain here and watch with me. And going a little further, he fell upon his face, praying and s aying: My Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from me. Nevertheless not as I will but as thou will. And he came to his disciples and found them asleep and he said to Peter: What? Could you not watch one hour with me? Watch and pray that you enter not into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing but the flesh weak. Again the second time, he went and prayed, saying: My Father, if this chalice may not pass away but I must drink it, thy will be done. And he came again and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. And leaving them, he went again and he prayed the third time, saying the selfsame word. Then he came to his disciples and said to them, Sleep now and take your rest, for behold the hour is at hand and the Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us go, behold he is at hand, that will betray me.
Thought for the Day – 13 November – The Memorial of St Agostina Livia Pietrantoni S.D.C. (1864-1894)
We look to Saint Agostina and contemplate her life and the way that she lived it- always for others, never for herself. First she laboured in the home, taking care of her younger siblings and helping out on the farm. Then, she was a migrant farm worker to earn more money to support her family, while providing love and direction to the many other children in the same situation. When she entered religious life, she dedicated her life to the sick and the poor in the tuberculosis ward- a place of constant suffering and death. Every day she faced the deadly disease and found joy and love in giving care to the people who contracted it. She knew that she was nothing and was prepared to let go of herself entirely every day, in service to the lowest of the low, even after being so brutally attacked, she forgave instantly- she saw the best in the worst of people and knew what she had to do.
I am cowardly and weak and selfish and I hope that one day I can hold in my heart, a tiny fraction of the love and the self-giving of this gentle St Agostina.
We will lie down for such a long time after death that it is worth while to keep standing while we are alive. Let us work now, one day we will rest. – St Agostina
One Minute Reflection – 13 November – Today’s Gospel: Luke 17:7–10 – Tuesday of the Thirty Second week in Ordinary Time, Year B and the Memorial of St Stanislaus Kostka SJ (1550-1568) & St Agostina Livia Pietrantoni S.D.C. (1864-1894)
“So you also, when you have done all that is commanded you, say, ‘We are unworthy servants, we have only done what was our duty.’ ”…Luke 17:10
REFLECTION – “You do not say to your servant, “Sit down” but require more service from him and do not thank him. The Lord also, does not allow only one work or labour for you, because so long as we live, we must always work. Know that you are a servant overwhelmed by very much obedience. You must not set yourself first, because you are called a son of God. Grace must be acknowledged but nature not overlooked. Do not boast of yourself if you have served well, as you should have done. The sun obeys, the moon complies and the angels serve. Let us not require praise for ourselves, nor prevent the judgement of God and anticipate the sentence of the Judge but reserve it, for its own time and Judge. ”…Saint Ambrose (340-397) Father & Doctor of the Church (Exposition of the Gospel of Luke, 8)
PRAYER– Holy Father, I beg Your grace to achieve sanctity. Grant me the wisdom to follow Your Son, the fortitude to persevere in all trails and to be Your servant to all Your children but most of all Holy Father, grant me Your grace to obtain eternal life. Precious youths, St Stanislaus and St Agostina, please pray for us all , amen.
Our Morning Offering – 13 November – Today’s Gospel: Luke 17:7–10 – Tuesday of the Thirty Second week in Ordinary Time, Year B
‘We are unworthy servants, we have only done what was our duty.’ …Luke 17:10b
Morning Offering to the Sacred Heart (Treasury of the Sacred Heart 1950)
Everyday of my life belongs to You,
O my God
and every action of my life
should be performed
with the pure intention
of honouring You alone.
From this moment, I offer them
to Your Sacred Heart
and by this offering,
I consecrate them without reserve
to Your glory.
What a motive for performing
all my actions with all possible perfection!
Do not permit them, O my divine Saviour,
to be sullied by any motives unworthy of
Your Sacred Heart.
I renounce all that could lessen
the merit of my offering.
I renounce all vanity,
self-love and human respect.
Grant, O my God,
that I may commence, continue
and end this day in Your grace
and solely from the pure motive
of pleasing and honouring You.
Saint of the Day – 13 November – St Agostina Livia Pietrantoni S.D.C. (1864-1894) – virgin, of the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of Saint Jeanne Antide Thouret, medical nursing sister – Born Livia Pietrantoni on 27 March 1864 at Pozzaglia Sabina, Rieti, Italy as Livia Petrantoni and died by being stabbed to death on 13 November 1894 in Rome, Italy by Giuseppe Romanelli. Patronages – abuse victims, against impoverishment and poverty, martyrs, people ridiculed for their piety. “Once there was and there still is but with a new face now, a village named Pozzaglia. In the Sabina hills… and there was a blessed house, a cosy little nest filled with childrens’ voices, amongst which that of Olivia who was later called Livia and was to take the name of Agostina in the religious life.”
The very short life of Sister Agostina, which inspired St Paul VI, the Pope who beatified her, to relate it in extraordinarily poetical terms, began and unfolded itself: “simple, transparent, pure, loving…but ended sorrowfully and tragically… or rather symbolically.”
27th March 1864: Livia was born and baptised in the little village of Pozzaglia Sabina, at an altitude of 800 meters in the beautiful area which is bordered geographically by Rieti, Orvinio, Tivoli. She was the second of 11 children! Her parents, Francesco Pietrantoni and Caterina Costantini, were farmers and worked their small plot of land along with a few added plots which they leased. Livia’s childhood and youth were imbued with the values of an honest, hard-working and religious family, in the blessed house in which “all were careful to do good and where they often prayed”. This period was marked especially by the wisdom of Uncle Domenico who was a real patriarch.
At the age of 4 Livia received the Sacrament of Confirmation and around 1876 she received her first Holy Communion, certainly with an extraordinary awareness, judging by the life of prayer, generosity and sacrifice which followed it. Very early on, in the large family in which everyone seemed to be a beneficiary to her time and help, she learned from her mother Caterina the thoughtfulness and maternal gestures which she showed with such gentleness towards her many younger brothers and sisters. She worked in the fields and looked after the animals… Therefore, she barely experienced childrens’ games… or school which she attended very irregularly but from which she drew great benefit to the point of earning the title of “teacher” from her classmates.
At the age of 7, along with other children, she began “to work”, transporting by the thousand, sacks of stones and sand for constructing the road from Orvinio to Poggio Moiano. At the age of 12 she left with other young “seasonal workers” who were going to Tivoli during the winter months for the olive harvest. Precociously wise, Livia took on the moral and religious responsibility for her young companions. She supported them in this tough work far from their families and proudly and courageously stood up to the arrogant and unscrupulous “bosses.”
Through her wisdom, her respect for others, her generosity, her beauty, Livia was a young attractive woman… and several young men in the village had their eyes on her. Their admiring looks did not escape mother Caterina’s notice and she dreamed of marrying her daughter well. Yet what did Livia think? What was the secret of her heart? Why did she not make a choice? Why did she not make up her mind? “Make daring by the voice which spoke to her inwardly, the voice of her vocation, she surrendered; it was Christ who would be her Beloved, Christ, her Spouse.” To these in her family or in the village who attempted to dissuade her by saying she was running away from hard work, Livia replied: “I wish to choose a Congregation in which there is work both day and night.” Everyone was certain that these words were genuine. A first trip to Rome in the company of her Uncle Fra Matteo ended in bitter disillusionment; they refused to accept her. However, a few months later, the Mother General of the Sisters of Charity of Saint Jeanne-Antide Thouret, let her know that she was expecting her at the Generalate. Livia understood that this time she was saying farewell for ever. With emotion she took leave of the village people, all the loved corners of her land, her favourite prayer places, the parish and the Virgin of Rifolta; she kissed her parents goodbye, received on her knees the blessing of Uncle Domenico, “kissed the door of her house, traced the sign of the cross on it and left hurriedly…”
23rd March 1886: Livia was 22 when she arrived in Rome at Via S. Maria in Cosmedin. A few months as a postulant and novice were enough to prove that the young girl had the makings of a Sister of Charity, that is of a “servant of the poor”, in the tradition of Saint Vincent de Paul and Saint Jeanne-Antide. Indeed, Livia brought to the Convent a particularly solid human potential inherited from her family which guaranteed its success. When she received the religious habit and was given the name of Sister Agostina, she had the premonition that it fell to her to become the saint bearing this name. For Indeed she had not heard of any Saint Agostina!
Sister Agostina was sent to the Hospital of Santo Spirito where 700 years of glorious history had led it to be called “the school of Christian charity.” In the wake of the saints who had preceded her, amongst whom were Charles Borromeo, Joseph Casalanz, John Bosco, Camillus de Lellis, Sister Agostina made her personal contribution and in this place of suffering gave expression to charity to the point of heroism.
The atmosphere in the hospital was hostile to religion. The Roman question poisoned peoples’ minds. The Capuchin fathers were driven out, the Crucifix and all other religious signs were forbidden. The hospital even wanted to send the sisters away but was afraid of becoming unpopular. Instead their lives were made “impossible” and they were forbidden to speak of God.
But Sister Agostina did not need her mouth in order to “cry out for God” and no gag was able to prevent her life from proclaiming the Gospel! First in the childrens’ ward and later in the tuberculosis ward, a place of despair and death, where she caught the mortal contagion of which she was miraculously healed, she showed a total dedication and an extraordinary concern for each sick person, above all for the most difficult, violent and obscene ones like “Romanelli.”
In secret, in a small hidden corner she had found for herself to reside, in the hospital, Sister Agostina commended them all to the Virgin and promised her many more vigils and greater sacrifices in order to obtain the grace of the conversion of the most stubborn ones. How many times she offered Giuseppe Romanelli to Our Lady! He was the worst of them all, the most vulgar and insolent, especially towards Sister Agostina, who was more and more attentive towards him and welcomed his blind mother with great kindness when she came to visit him. He was capable of anything and everyone had had enough of him. When, after the umpteenth provocation at the expense of the women working in the laundry, the Director expelled him, from the hospital, he sought a target for his fury and poor Agostina was the victim he picked. ‘I will kill you with my own hands.”“Sister Agostina, you only have a month to live!,” were the threats which he had sent to her several times in little notes. The male patient Giuseppe Romanelli began to harass her at this point – he even sent her death threats and on the evening of 12 November 1894 her religious asked her to take time off since the sisters worried for her; she refused. Romanelli attacked and stabbed her to death in the morning on 13 November 1894. Pietrantoni forgave her killer moments before she died; Romanelli stabbed her in a dark corridor with three stabs at the shoulder and left arm and the jugular before a final stab in the chest. Her final words were, “Mother of mine, help me“. Professor Achille Ballori (d. 1914) – who had once warned her about Romanelli – inspected her remains and observed that “Sister Agostina has allowed herself to be slaughtered like a lamb” and noted there were no contractions of either her nerves or heart.
When Romanelli caught her unawares and struck her before she could escape, that 13th November 1894, her lips uttered nothing but invocations to the Virgin Mary and words of forgiveness.
The late nun’s funeral blocked the streets of Rome (thousands lined the streets and knelt before the casket as it passed them) and a “Messaggero” report on 16 November stated that “never a more impressive spectacle was seen in Rome”. Her remains were moved to the generalate on 3 February 1941 and then to her hometown on 14 November 2004.
The beatification process opened under Pope Pius XII on 14 December 1945 and Pietrantoni was titled as a Servant of God. The confirmation of her life of heroic virtue on 19 September 1968 allowed for St Pope Paul VI to title her as Venerable that same pope presided over her Beatification on 12 November 1972 in Saint Peter’s Square upon the confirmation of two miracles attributed to her intercession.
The final miracle required for sainthood was investigated and then received validation from the Congregation for the Causes of Saints on 19 March 1996. St Pope John Paul II approved this miracle on 6 April 1998 and later Canonised Pietrantoni as a saint of the Roman Catholic Church on 18 April 1999.
Pietrantoni was named as the patron saint for nurses on 20 May 2003 after the Italian Episcopal Conference named her as such.
St Frances Xavier Cabrini (Optional Memorial, United States only – her Universal Feast Day is 22 December and this is the Day on which I will honour her on this site.)
All Saints of the Augustinian Order: On 13 November (The birthday of St Augustine), we celebrate the feast of All Saints of the Augustinian Order. On this day we call to mind the many unsung brothers and sisters of the Augustinian family who have “fought the good fight” and celebrate now, in Heaven.
Let us pray for one another that we too may one day join in the “unceasing chorus of praise” with all our Augustinian brethren in Heaven.
All Saints of the Benedictine & Cistercian Orders: Those interested in the Benedictine family may be interested to know that today, within the Benedictine liturgical tradition, is traditionally celebrated the feast of All Saints of the Benedictine Order – In Festo Omnium Sanctorum Ordinis S.P.N. Benedicti.
The Cistercians — who also follow the Rule of St Benedict — likewise observe this day for All Saints of their Order. (On a related note, the Benedictines also traditionally observe 14 November as All Souls of their Order.
All Saints of the Premonstratensian Order: The Order of Canons Regular of Prémontré, also known as the Premonstratensians, the Norbertines and, in Britain and Ireland, as the White Canons , are a Roman Catholic religious order of canons regular founded in Prémontré near Laon in 1120 by Saint Norbert, who later became Archbishop of Magdeburg. Premonstratensians are designated by O.Praem. following their name. St Norbert was a friend of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux and so was largely influenced by the Cistercian ideals as to both the manner of life and the government of his order.
Aside from St Norbert there are at present fifteen saints of the Order who have been Canonised or have had their immemorial cults confirmed by the Holy See.
St Abbo of Fleury
St Agostina Pietrantoni S.D.C. (1864-1894)
St Amandus of Rennes
St Beatrix of Bohemia
St Brice of Tours
Bl Carl Lampert
St Chillien of Aubigny
Bl Christopher Eustace
St Columba of Cornwall
St Dalmatius of Rodez
Bl David Sutton
St Eugenius of Toledo
St Florido of Città di Castello
St Homobonus of Cremona
Bl John Sutton
Bl Juan Gonga Martínez
St Juan Ortega Uribe
St Leoniano of Vienne
Bl María Cinta Asunción Giner Gomis
Bl Maurice Eustace
St Pope Nicholas I
St Quintian of Rodez
Bl Robert Fitzgerald
Bl Robert Montserrat Beliart
Bl Robert Scurlock
St Stanislaus Kostka SJ (1550-1568):
Biography here: https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/11/13/saint-of-the-day-13-november-st-stanislaus-kostka-sj-1550-1568/
Bl Thomas Eustace
Bl Warmondus of Ivrea
Bl William Wogan
Martyrs of Caesarea – 5 saints: A group of Christians murdered for their faith in the persecutions of Diocletian, Galerius Maximian and Firmilian. – Antoninus, Ennatha, Germanus, Nicephorus and Zebinas. 297 at Caesarea, Palestine.
Martyrs of Ravenna – 3 saints: A group of Christians murdered together in the persecutions of Diocletian. The only information about them that has survived are three names – Solutor, Valentine and Victor. c 305 in Ravenna, Italy.
Martyrs of Salamanca – 5 saints: The first group of Christians exiled, tortured and executed for their adherence to the Nicene Creed during the persecutions of the Arian heretic Genseric. – Arcadius, Eutychianus, Paschasius, Paulillus and Probus.
Born in Spain and Martyred in 437. Their relics are at Medina del Campo, Spain.