Thought for the Day – 12 January – St Aelred of Rievaulx OCSO (1110-1167)

Thought for the Day – 12 January – 6th day after Epiphany and The Memorial of St Aelred of Rievaulx OCSO (1110-1167)

“Charity may be
a very short word
but with its tremendous
meaning of pure love,
it sums up man’s
entire relation to God
and to his neighbour.”

St Aelred of Rievaulx (1110-1167)charity may be a very short word - st aelred - 12 jan 2019

Aelred of Rievaulx on Jesus Christ as the model of brotherly love and patience through His forgiveness of persecutors and enemies and His prayer from the cross
“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

“The perfection of brotherly love lies in the love of one’s enemies.   We can find no greater inspiration for this, than grateful remembrance of the wonderful patience of Christ.   He who is more fair than all the sons of men, offered His fair face to be spat upon by sinful men;  He allowed those eyes that rule the universe to be blindfolded by wicked men;  He bared His back to the scourges;  He submitted that head which strikes terror in principalities and powers, to the sharpness of the thorns;  He gave Himself up to be mocked and reviled and, at the end, endured the cross, the nails, the lance, the gall, the vinegar, remaining always gentle, meek and full of peace.

In short, He was led like a sheep to the slaughter and like a lamb before the shearers, He kept silent and did not open His mouth.

Who could listen to that wonderful prayer, so full of warmth, of love, of unshakeable serenity – Father, forgive them – and hesitate to embrace his enemies with overflowing love?   Father, He says, forgive them!   Is any gentleness, any love, lacking in this prayer?

Yet He put into it something more.   It was not enough to pray for them – He wanted also to make excuses for them.  Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.   They are great sinners, yes but they have little judgement;  therefore, Father, forgive them.   They are nailing me to the cross but they do not know who it is that they are nailing to the cross – if they had known, they would never have crucified the Lord of glory, therefore, Father, forgive them.   They think it is a lawbreaker, an impostor claiming to be God, a seducer of the people.   I have hidden my face from them and they do not recognise my glory, therefore, Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.

If someone wishes to love himself he must not allow himself to be corrupted by indulging his sinful nature.   If he wishes to resist the promptings of his sinful nature he must enlarge the whole horizon of his love to contemplate the loving gentleness of the humanity of the Lord.   Further, if he wishes to savour the joy of brotherly love, with greater perfection and delight, he must extend even to his enemies the embrace of true love.

But if he wishes to prevent this fire of divine love from growing cold because of injuries received, let him keep the eyes of his soul always fixed on the serene patience of his beloved Lord and Saviour.”

This excerpt from the Mirror of Love by Saint Aelred of Rievaulx, abbot (Lib 3, 5: PL 195, 382) focuses on Christ as the supreme model of brotherly love, shown primarily in His love of persecutors and enemies.   It is used in the Roman Catholic Office of Readings for Friday of the 1st week in Lent with the accompanying biblical reading taken from Exodus 12: 21-36.

St Aelred, Pray for Us!st-aelred-pray-for-us-12-jan-2019


One Minute Reflection – 12 January – 6th day after Epiphany – Today’s Gospel: John 3:22–30

One Minute Reflection – 12 January – 6th day after Epiphany – Today’s Gospel: John 3:22–30

“This joy of mine has been made complete.
He must increase, but I must decrease.”…John 3:29-30this joy of mine ...he must increase - john 3 29-30 12 jan 2019

REFLECTION – “Listen, children of light: you who have been adopted for the Kingdom of God;  listen, my dearest brethren; listen and exult for joy in the Lord, you just, for “praise from the upright is fitting” (Ps 33:1).   Listen to what you already know;  reflect on what you have heard ; love what you believe; proclaim what you love!…
Christ is born, God from His Father, man through His mother.   He was born from His Father’s immortality and His mother’s virginity.   From the Father without the aid of a mother;  from the mother without that of a father.   From His Father without time; from His mother without seed.   According to His Father he is the principle of life; according to His mother, the ending of death.   According to His Father, He was born to determine the order of days;  according to His mother, to consecrate the day that is here.
He sent John the Baptist before Him, causing him to be born when the days were beginning to decrease, while He Himself was born when the days began to grow in length, thus prefiguring John’s own words:  “He must increase, I must decrease”.   For indeed, human life must grow weaker in itself but stronger in Jesus Christ “so that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised” (2Cor 5:15) and so that each one of us might repeat those words of the apostle Paul:  “Yet I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me” (Gal 2:20).”…St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctorchrist is born - st augustine 12 jan 2019

PRAYER – Almighty ever-living God, through Christ Your Son, You made of us a new creation.   Shape us then, in His likeness, since in Him, our human nature now lives with You.   Grant that by the prayers of our blessed Virgin Mary and of Your holy men and women, we may be granted assistance in our struggle here below.   Through Christ our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for all eternity, amen.blessed virgin holy mother pray for us

Posted in Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Our Morning Offering – 12 January – Behold me, O Sweet Lord – St Aelred

Our Morning Offering – 12 January – 6th day after Epiphany and The Memorial of St Aelred of Rievaulx OCSO (1110-1167)

Behold me, O Sweet Lord, Behold me!
By St Aelred of Rievaulx

Behold me, O sweet Lord, behold me!
For I hope that in Your loving kindness,
O Most Merciful One,
You will behold me
either as a loving physician to heal,
a kind teacher to correct,
or an indulgent father to pardon…
confident in Your sweet powerful mercy
and most merciful power,
I ask in virtue of Your sweet Name
and of the mystery of Your sacred humanity,
that, mindful of Your kindness
and unmindful of my ingratitude,
You forgive me my sins
and heal the languors of my soul.
Amenbehold me o sweet lord behold me - st aelred 12 jan 2019

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – St Anthony Mary Pucci OSM (1819-1892)

Saint of the Day – St Anthony Mary Pucci OSM (1819-1892) – Religious Priest of the Servite Order, known as “the Father of the Poor”, Apostle of prayer, Mystic, Eucharistic and Marian devotee – born Eustance Pucci on 16 April 1818 in Poggiole di Vernio, Italy as Eustacchio Pucci and died on 12 January 1892 at Viareggio, Italy.

Anthony Mary Pucci was born of fine Christian parents at Poggiole, in the diocese of Pistoia, Italy, in 1819, he was the second of nine children.   After a youth marked by prayer and study, his devotion to Mary, the Mother of God, caused him to seek entrance in the Order of Servants of Mary at the age of eighteen.   He made his novitiate at Florence and studied philosophy and theology at Monte Senario for six years, where he also made his solemn profession.   In 1844, a year after his ordination to the priesthood, Anthony was sent to Viareggio as assistant pastor.   In 1847 he was named pastor and for forty-five years, until his death, he fulfilled this responsibility with great love, giving an example of a pure and fruitful life, singularly dedicated to God and his flock. Notwithstanding pastoral duties he continued his studies and in 1850 received the title of Master in Theology.sant'antonio_maria_pucci_icona

For many years Father Anthony was prior of the community in Viareggio and also prior provincial of the Tuscan Province.   This was a period of hostility between Church and civil authorities due to laws passed against religious orders and congregations.   In these offices, mindful of the words of Saint Augustine, he preferred to be loved rather than feared by his brothers and was happy to serve with love rather than exercise power.

Anthony was characterised by humility of spirit, reserve in speaking, abiding contact with God and love of poverty.   He dedicated himself completely to his priestly ministry in order to lead all to Christ; he knew his parishioners individually, he showed them fatherly love, offering them the word of God and supporting them with his advice and direction.   His charity to the needy knew no limits – he even went so far as to give a poor man the shirt off his back and because of this he was called “the Father of the Poor”.blessed-anthony-maria-pucci-now-st-mater

He was a faithful minister of the sacrament of penance, dedicating several hours a day to this work.   Of greatest importance to him was reconciling sinners to God, comforting the afflicted, forgiving those who had offended him, uniting those separated by hatred and violence, bringing peace to families, and assisting the sick and dying.   His love for others was particularly visible during the cholera epidemic of 1854-1856, when day and night, almost without rest, he worked with the sick.   God gave him many gifts, including discernment of spirits and the gift of healing.   He was seen at times in ecstasy or raised from the ground in prayer.

Father Anthony founded a congregation of Servite sisters in his parish for the education of youth and he directed them with particular concern.   He was a pioneer in establishing parish associations for young children, teenagers, men and women in order to intensify the Christian life of his community.   He promoted the St Vincent de Paul Society, recently introduced into Italy from France and the work for the Propagation of the Faith.   He founded the first permanent seaside home for the care of children.   In this work of the apostolate he was supported and animated by his great love for the Eucharist and Our Lady of Sorrows to whom he solemnly consecrated his antonio maria pucci.jpg

He was stricken with pneumonia on a winter’s day after he gave his coat to a poor man on the street.   A few days later, 12 January 1892, having received the sacraments, he died a holy death.
The entire city, including even those hostile to the Church, wept at the death of their beloved pastor.

At the end of the first session of the Second Vatican Council St Pope John XXIII, on 9 December 1962, added his name to the list of saints.   The body of Saint Anthony Pucci is venerated in the Basilica of St Andrew in Viareggio, below is his tomb and a stained glass window in the Basilica.shrine st antonio maria pucci576px-viareggio,_chiesa_di_sant'andrea,_vetrata_di_sant'antonio_maria_pucci

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 12 January

St Aelred of Rievaulx OCSO (1110-1167)
About St Aelred:

Bl Antoine Fournier
St Antonio Maria Pucci OSM (1819-1892)
St Arcadius of Mauretania
Bl Bartholomew Alvarez
Bl Bernardo de Plano
St Biccianus
St Benedict Biscop
St Bernard of Corleone
St Caesaria of Arles
St Caroticus
Bl Emmanuel d’Abreu
St Eutropius
St Ferreolus of Grenoble
Bl John Gaspard Cratz
St John of Ravenna
Bl Lucia of Valcaldara
St Marguerite Bourgeoys CND (1620-1700)
St Marguerite’s Biography:

St Martinian of Belozersk
St Martin of León
Bl Nicholas Bunkerd Kitbamrung
St Peter of Abessala
Bl Pierre-François Jamet
St Probus of Verona
St Quinctus the Soldier
St Satyrus
St Tatiana of Rome
St Tigrius
St Victorian of Asana
Bl Vincent da Cunha

Martyrs of Africa – 44 saints: A group of 44 Christian soldiers murdered together for their faith in Africa. The only details that survive are four of their names – Castulus, Modestus, Rogatus and Zoticus.

Martyrs of Ephesus – 42 saints: Forty-two monks martyred at a monastery in Ephesus (modern Turkey) during the persecutions of the Iconoclast Byzantine Emperor Constantine V. Their names have not come down to us. Martyred c 762.

Martyrs of Iona – 38 saints: Thirty-eight monks martyred in Iona, Ireland. Their names have not come down to us. They were Martyred in 750 at Iona, Ireland.