Posted in Blessed JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN, ON the SAINTS, QUOTES on HUMILITY, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 13 December – The Memorial of Blessed Antonio Grassi Cong. Orat. (1592 – 1671)

Thought for the Day – 13 December – The Memorial of Blessed Antonio Grassi Cong. Orat. (1592 – 1671)

“For thirty seven of those years he was, without precedent, Provost of his Congregation. Like a lamp burning on a lampstand he shed the unfailing rays of his virtues on all sides, and “made himself all things to all men, so as to win them all for Christ”...Alfonso Cardinal Capecelatro, Cong.Orat., Rome 24 May 1900.

From the writings of Blessed John Henry Newman, Cong. Orat.,

on the Oratorian Vocation
Newman the Oratorian

Quoting Marciano’s “apposite description of Father Grassi of Fermo”:

“In respect of obedience, though, from being so long time a Superior, he appeared to have no opportunity for its exercise, yet he knew how to follow in its track.   First, he placed his private will in the hand of his Confessor, as if he were a child.   Next, though Superior, he used to render a most exact obedience to the officials of the Congregation. Called by the Porter or Sacristan, he never was heard to say, ‘I cannot’.   And whereas in the last years of his life a Brother was assigned him for his attendance, he called him his guardian-angel and recognised him as his Superior and obeyed him, in such sort, as not even to change his place without his leave.   In his journeys, he so depended upon his companion, to whom he then gave the name of governor, that his intimations were for him inviolable precepts.”

Total humility! Our lesson, our goal.

Blessed Antonio Grassi, Pray for Us!Bl antonio grassi pray for us 13dec 2018

Posted in QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on HUMILITY, SAINT of the DAY

Quote/s of the Day  – 13 December – The Memorial of Blessed Antonio Grassi Cong. Orat. (1592 – 1671)

Quote/s of the Day  – 13 December – The Memorial of Blessed Antonio Grassi Cong. Orat. (1592 – 1671)

“We must make humility
the foundation of our lives.”

“The more humble a man is,
the better he knows himself
and, therefore, the better
he knows God.
The more he knows God,
the better he loves Him…
thus by humility,
he obtains more charity
and by having more charity,
he obtains more humility.”

Bl Antonio Grassi (1592 – 1671)we must make humility - the more humble - bl antonio grassi 13dec2018

Posted in ADVENT, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on the DEVIL/EVIL, The WORD

Advent and Christmas Wisdom with St Alphonsus Liguori 13 December – Thursday of the Second week of Advent

Advent and Christmas Wisdom with St Alphonsus Liguori

13 December – Thursday of the Second week of Advent

Jesus suffers during His whole life

“Consider that all the sufferings that Jesus endured in His life and death were all present to Him from the first moment of His life. Consider that even from His childhood, He began to offer them to fulfil His role as our Redeemer.   What martyrdom did the loving heart of Jesus constantly endure in beholding all sins of humankind!   Saint Thomas says that the sorrow which Jesus felt, at the knowledge of the injury dome to His Father and of the evil that sin would cause to the souls that He loved, surpassed the sorrow of all contrite sinners that ever existed.

St Margaret of Cortona, never ceased to shed tears for her sins.   One day her confessor said to her, “no more tears, Margaret, it is enough, our Lord has already forgiven you,” “What”, answered the saint, “how can my tears and my sorrows suffice for the sins which my Jesus was afflicted all His life long?”

My beloved Redeemer, I thank You!   I could die of sorrow when I think of how I have abused Your infinite goodness.   Forgive me, my Love and come and take entire possession of my heart.”

Scripture
“From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence and men of violence, take it by force.”
Matthew 11:12

Prayer

Lord God,
true Light and Creator of Light,
empty us today
of the many worldly distractions
that lead us from You.
The darkness of our heart
is our enemy and we are beleaguered.
Help us Lord, that faithfully
seeking all that is holy,
and begging Your grace,
we may ever live in the
splendour of Your presence.
Amen

Advent Action
“Saint Paul teaches: “Our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the unseen powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens,” (Eph 6:12).   Like Joshua, let us set out to war, attacking the greatest city in the world, namely wickedness and let us throw down the arrogant walls of sin.   Would you look around for which path to take, which battlefield to choose?   No doubt you will find my words extraordinary;  nevertheless, they are true – limit your quest to yourself alone. In you lies the combat you are going to engage, within yourself the structure of evil and sin to pull down, your enemy emerges from the depths of your heart.   It is not I who say this but Christ.   Listen to him: “From the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, unchastity, theft, false witness, blasphemy” (Mt 15:19).   Do you realise the power of this enemy force that advances against you from the depths of your heart?   Those are our real enemies.”…Origen (c.185-253)advent with st alphonsus - my beloved redeemer - 13dec 2018

Posted in MARIAN PRAYERS, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Our Morning Offering – 13 December – Prayer of St Philip Neri

Our Morning Offering – 13 December – The Memorial of Blessed Antonio Grassi Cong. Orat. (1592 – 1671)

Mary, I Love You
By St Philip Neri (1515-1595)
Founder of the Oratorians

Mary, I love you.
Mary, make me live in God,
with God and for God.
Draw me after you, holy mother.
O Mary, may your children persevere in loving you.
Mary, Mother of God and mother of mercy,
pray for me and for the departed.
Mary, holy Mother of God, be our helper.
In every difficulty and distress,
come to our aid, O Mary.
O Queen of Heaven,
lead us to eternal life with God.
Mother of God, remember me,
and help me always to remember you.
O Mary, conceived without sin,
pray for us who have recourse to you.
Pray for us,
O holy Mother of God,
that we may be made worthy
of the promises of Christ.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray to Jesus for me.
Amenmary I love you by st philip neri - 26 may 2918

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 13 December – Blessed Antonio Grassi Cong. Orat. (1592 – 1671)

Saint of the Day – 13 December – Blessed Antonio Grassi Cong. Orat. Franciscan Tertiary (1592 – 1671) – Religious Priest of the Oratorians of St Philip Neri (1515-1595), Confessor, Spiritual advisor, Counsellor, Mediator, Miracle Worker, Apostle of Charity.   Blessed Antonio was known for his humble and pious nature with a strong devotion to the Our Lady and the Holy House of Loreto to which he made pilgrimages on an annual basis, as well as to the Rule of St Philip Neri – born Vincenzo Grassi on 13 November 1592 in Fermo, Italy and died on 13 December 1671 in Fermo, Italy of natural causes.   His Memorial is today although the Oratorians celebrate on 15 December.bl antonio anthony grassi

Anthony’s father died when his son was only 10 years old but the young lad inherited his father’s devotion to Our Lady of Loreto.   As a schoolboy he frequented the local church of the Oratorian Fathers, joining the religious order when he was 17.   Already a fine student, he soon gained a reputation in his religious community as a “walking dictionary” who quickly grasped Scripture and theology.   For some time he was tormented by scruples but they reportedly left him at the very hour he celebrated his first Mass.   From that day, serenity penetrated his very being.

In 1621, at age 29, Anthony was struck by lightning while praying in the church of the Holy House at Loreto.   He was carried paralysed from the church, expecting to die. When he recovered in a few days he realised that he had been cured of acute indigestion. His scorched clothes were donated to the Loreto church as an offering of thanks for his new gift of life.   More important, Anthony now felt that his life belonged entirely to God. Each year thereafter, he made a pilgrimage to Loreto to express his thanks._Bl antonio grassi 2 my edit

He also began hearing confessions and came to be regarded as an outstanding confessor. Simple and direct, he listened carefully to penitents, said a few words and gave a penance and absolution, frequently drawing on his gift of reading consciences.

In 1635 he was elected superior of the Fermo Oratory.   He was so well regarded that he was re-elected every three years until his death.   He was a quiet person and a gentle superior who did not know how to be severe.   At the same time, he kept the Oratorian constitutions literally, encouraging the community to do likewise.

He refused social or civic commitments and instead would go out day or night to visit the sick or dying or anyone else needing his services.   As he grew older, he had a God-given awareness of the future, a gift which he frequently used to warn or to console.

But age brought its challenges as well.   He suffered the humility of having to give up his physical faculties one by one.   First was his preaching, necessitated after he lost his teeth.   Then he could no longer hear confessions.   Finally, after a fall, he was confined to his room.   The Archbishop himself came each day to give him holy Communion.   One of Anthony’s final acts was to reconcile two fiercely quarrelling brothers.

Antonio died on 13 December 1671, as the community, gathered round him, prayed the Litany of Loreto, exclaiming “What happiness – what consolation – to be a son of Saint Philip in the passage from this life”.

He was Beatified on 30 September 1900 by Pope Leo XIII.Blessed-Antony-Grassi-port

From a Letter of Alfonso Cardinal Capecelatro, Cong.Orat., Rome 24 May 1900.

The Venerable Antonio Grassi, of the Congregation of the Oratory of St Philip, is rightly deemed to have been a most loyal friend and indefatigable servant of Christ.   For he, during a lifetime of eighty years, was so richly nourished by God with the bread of life and understanding and the cup of saving water of wisdom, that day by day he co-operated more faithfully with the gifts of God’s grace, considering his one concern to be in conformity with the image of the Son of God.   He was thus so marked with holiness, particularly in his prayer and divine worship, his forgetfulness of self and zeal for the salvation of souls, that the serious and learned men of his time thought him a real follower of Philip Neri and asked for his prayers and advice on matters divine.   He indeed showed himself in every way to be a distinguished follower of St Philip.

The known words and works of the Venerable Servant of God confirm that these praises lavished in the decrees of the Holy See were justified.   For before and soon after his birth, it was indeed prophesied by a heavenly voice, that he would be holy and a great servant of God.   He first saw the light in Fermo in 1592, while Saint Philip was still alive, and was baptised by Fr Civitella, later Provost of the Oratory in the same city.   He was so chaste that, like another Bernardine of Siena, while still a boy, it needed only his presence, the rumour “Antony is here” to deter his young playmates from any sort of unseemly talk.   This angelic virtue was proclaimed by the pleasant scent which exuded from Antony’s body both in life and after death, as well as the unbearable stench which the servant of God perceived in the presence of the unchaste and the remarkable exclamation of a two year old girl who repeatedly pointed out Antonio in the church, crying “Look an angel, look, an angel!”

He attended the Fermo Oratory from childhood and at the age of sixteen forsook the world for it, advised on the certainty of his Oratorian vocation by his spiritual director, a disciple of Saint Philip.

Keeping always before him the example of St Philip his father and tutor, he was so faithful in imitating him, observing even the least of the commandments, that he never turned away from the law of the Lord neither to right not to left for over sixty years.   For thirty seven of those years he was, without precedent, Provost of his Congregation.   Like a lamp burning on a lampstand he shed the unfailing rays of his virtues on all sides and “made himself all things to all men, so as to win them all for Christ”.

In 1625 he visited Rome to gain the plenary indulgence of the Holy Year.   There he indulged his feelings of holiness and devotion especially by visiting the places which his beloved Father and Patriarch had marked while alive.antony-grassi-large

Aflame with the love of God, he looked for peace and rest in the pierced side of Christ.   In favour with God and man, he was on terms of friendship with some famous disciples of Saint Philip who still survived, including Fr Consolini who was much beloved of St Philip himself.   By his gentleness and the reputation he had for virtue, he so attracted the whole family of the Congregation that Oratorians from other regions earnestly begged a blessing of him, writing loving letters to Antonio, now worn out by age and toil.

He was marked by the depth of his love for Mary.   Every year he used to pay a devout pilgrimage to the Holy House of Loreto (shown in the painting above), in which the Word had been made Flesh.   There he enjoyed much refreshment of spirit, in great fervour.   He frequently preached in praise of the Blessed Virgin Mary and sang hymns in her honour.   He declared Saint Philip to be a faithful intermediary in obtaining the intercession of the Holy Mother of God, saying “whatever the Blessed Virgin Mary asks from her Son Jesus Christ, she obtains;  whatever Saint Philip requests of the Blessed Virgin Mary, she will ask for”.   Hence he was assiduous in praising his great Patriarch’s holiness and would say to his companions “What a great honour and privilege it is for us to be sons of Saint Philip!”

It was well established by the apostolic investigation that the Blessed Antony’s virtues were of an heroic nature.   Indeed God ratified the great holiness of His servant with heavenly charisms.   He was endowed by God with the gifts of prophecy, of healing and of miracles.   By the force of his love he took others’ sufferings on himself;  he turned copper coins into silver;  he took his recreation in the company of a much loved sparrow, enjoying its heavenly chirruping and there are other miracles which illumine him.

In his final illness he was a model of steadfast patience.   He took great consolation in meditating on the sacred stigmata of St Francis, which he used to say he would love to share and had himself enrolled in the archconfraternity of the friars of that seraphic saint.   At last he was forewarned by the Blessed Virgin Mary, via St Philip, of his approaching death and eternal salvation and cried out with great joy “What happiness – what consolation – to be a son of Saint Philip in the passage from this life”.   He died on 13th December 1671.bl antonio grassi my edit

Posted in SAINT of the DAY, YouTube VIDEOS

Memorials of the Saints – 13 December

St Lucy (of Syracuse) (Memorial) – St Lucy/Lucia of Syracuse (c 283-304) Virgin and Martyr
About St Lucy: https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/12/13/saint-of-the-day-13-december-st-lucy-c-283-304/

St Antiochus of Sulci
Bl Antonio Grassi Cong. Orat. (1592 – 1671)

St Aristone
St Arsenius of Latro
St Aubert of Arras
Bl Bartholomew of Tuscany
BL Costanza Starace
St Edburgh of Lyminge
St Einhildis of Hohenburg
Bl Elizabeth Rose
St Jodocus
BL John Marinoni
St Martino de Pomar
St Odilia of Alsace
St Roswinda
St Tassio of Bavaria
St Wifred
Blessed Mercedarian Knights – (7 beati): A group of Mercedarian knights who fought the enemies of the Catholic faith in the first century of the Order.
• Blessed Bernardo de Podio
• Blessed Giacomo de Copons
• Blessed Giovanni de Bruquera
• Blessed Guglielmo de Sa
• Blessed Pietro Boguer
• Blessed Pietro Ricart
• Blessed Raimondo de Frexa

Martyrs of Jeongju – (6 saints): Six Christian laymen who were imprisoned, tortured and martyred together in the persecutions in Korea. They were beheaded on 13 December 1866 in Supjeong-i, Jeongju, Chungcheong-do, South Korea
and Canonised on 6 May 1984 by St Pope John Paul II.
• Bartholomaeus Chong Mun-Ho
• Iosephus Han Won-So
• Peter Cho Hwa-so
• Petrus Son Son-Ji
• Petrus Yi Myong-So
• Petrus Chong Won-Ji

Martyrs of Sebaste – (5 saints): A group of Christians martyred together in the persecutions of Diocletian. We know little more than their names – Auxentius, Eustratius, Eugene, Mardarius and Orestes. They were martyred in c 302 at Sebaste, Armenia (in modern Turkey) and their relics are enshrined at the church of Saint Apollinaris in Rome, Italy.