Thought for the Day – 16 September – A Faith that is Ready and Unshaken – St Cyprian to St Pope Cornelius

Thought for the Day – 16 September – Monday of the Twenty-fourth week in Ordinary Time, Year Cand the Memorial of St Pope Corneliu  s and St Cyprian of Carthage, Martyrs

A Faith that is Ready and Unshaken

Saint Cyprian of Carthage (c 200-258)
Bishop, Father of the Church and Martyr

An excerpt from his Letter 60

Cyprian sends greetings to his brother Cornelius. My very dear brother, we have heard of the glorious witness given by your courageous faith.   On learning of the honour you had won by your witness, we were filled with such joy that we felt ourselves sharers and companions in your praiseworthy achievements.   After all, we have the same Church, the same mind, the same unbroken harmony.   Why then should a priest not take pride in the praise given to a fellow priest as though it were given to him?   What brotherhood fails to rejoice in the happiness of its brothers wherever they are?

Words cannot express how great was the exultation and delight here when we heard of your good fortune and brave deeds, how you stood out as a leader of your brothers in their declaration of their faith.   You led the way to glory but you gained many companions in that glory, being foremost in your readiness to bear witness, on behalf of all, you prevailed on your people to become a single witness.   We cannot decide which we ought to praise, your own ready and unshaken faith, or the love of your brothers who would not leave you.   While the courage of the bishop who thus led the way has been demonstrated, at the same time the unity of the brotherhood who followed, has been manifested.   Since you have one heart and one voice, it is the Roman Church as a whole that has thus borne witness.

Dearest brother, bright and shining is the faith which the blessed Apostle praised in your community.   He foresaw in the spirit the praise your courage deserves and the strength that could not be broken, he was heralding the future when he testified to your achievement, his praise of the fathers was a challenge to the sons.   Your unity, your strength have become shining examples of these virtues to the rest of the brethren.

Divine providence has now prepared us.   God’s merciful design has warned us that the day of our own struggle, our own contest, is at hand.   By that shared love which binds us closely together, we are doing all we can to exhort our congregation, to give ourselves unceasingly to fasting, vigils and prayers in common.   These are the heavenly weapons which give us the strength to stand firm and endure, they are the spiritual defences, the God-given armaments that protect us.

Let us then remember one another, united in mind and heart.   Let us pray without ceasing, you for us, we for you, by the love we share, we shall thus relieve the strain of these great trials.

Sts Cornelius and Cyprian, Pray for Us!STS CORNELIUS AND CYPRIAN PRAY FOR US 16 SEPT 2019 no 2.jpg


Quote/s of the Day – 16 September – The wisdom of St Cyprian of Carthage

Quote/s of the Day – 16 September – The Memorial of Sts Cornelius & Cyprian

“Not by words alone but also by deeds, has God taught us to pray.   He Himself prayed frequently and demonstrated what we ought to do, by the testimony of His own example.   As it is written: “But he himself was in retirement in the desert and in prayer” and again, “He went out into the mountain to pray and continued all night in prayer to God.”   But if He who was without sin prayed, how much more ought sinners to pray and if He prayed continually, watching through the whole night with uninterrupted petitions, how much more ought we to lie awake at night in continuing prayer!”luke-5-16-but-he-withdrew-to-the-wilderness-but-if-he-who-was-without-sin-st-cyprian-11-jan-2019

“So, my brothers, let us pray as God our master has taught us.
To ask the Father in words His Son has given us,
to let Him hear the prayer of Christ ringing in His ears,
is to make our prayer one of friendship, a family prayer.
Let the Father recognise the words of His Son.
Let the Son who lives in our hearts, be also on our lips.
We have Him as an Advocate for sinners, before the Father,
when we ask for forgiveness for ours sins,
let us use the words given by our Advocate.
He tells us –
Whatever you ask the Father in my name, He will give you.
What more effective prayer could we then make,
in the name of Christ, than in the words of His own prayer?”

An excerpt from his “On the Lord’s Prayer”

let-us-pray-as-god-our-master-has-taught-us-no 2 used on 16 sept 2019 memorial of st-cyprian-12-march-2019-lenten-thoughts-no-2- used again 20 june 2019

“As we do battle and fight, in the contest of faith,
God, His angels and Christ Himself, watch us.
How exalted is the glory,
how great the joy of engaging in a contest
with God presiding,
of receiving a crown, with Christ as judge.”
An excerpt from his Letter 58as-we-do-battle-and-fight-st-cyoprian-of-carthage-6-may-2019-the-contest-of-faith.jpg

“{Lapsed Christians} will often take Communion before their sin is expiated, before confession has been made of their crime, before their conscience has been purged by sacrifice and by the hand of the priest, before the offence of an angry and threatening Lord has been appeased, [and so] violence is done to His body and blood and they sin now, against their Lord, more with their hand and mouth than when they denied their Lord.”
(The Lapsed 15–16 [written in 251])lapsed christians - st cyprian of carthage - 3 feb 2019 sun reflec

“He not only receives and pardons those adversaries,
those blasphemers, those persistent enemies of His name,
provided they do penance for their offence
and acknowledge the crime committed
but He admits them to the reward of the kingdom of heaven.”he not only receives and pardons  no 2 used on 16 sept 2019 st cyprians memorial- st cyprian - 24 march 2019 3rdsunlentyearc.jpg

“Whatever a man
prefers to God,
that, he makes,
a god to himself.”

St Cyprian of Carthage (c 200-258)
Bishop and Martyr, Father of the Churchwhatever man prefers to god that he makes a god to himself - st cyprian of carthage 16 sept 2019.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MARTYRS, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FAITH, SAINT of the DAY, The LISTS of the CHURCH, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 16 September – I am not worthy to have you come under my roof …

One Minute Reflection – 16 September – Monday of the Twenty-fourth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 7:1-10 and the Memorial of St Pope Cornelius and St Cyprian of Carthage, Martyrs

“Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof, therefore, I did not presume to come to you.   But say the word and let my servant be healed.”…Luke7:6b-7

REFLECTION – “This man was a pagan, for the Jewish people were occupied by the Imperial Roman army at that time.   So it was as a centurion in Judaea that he was commanding his soldiers…
But our Lord, although he was in the midst of the people of Judaea, was already talking about the Church being spread all over the earth wherever His apostles were to be sent (Mt 8:11).   Indeed, the gentiles believed in Him without having see Him…  Our Lord did not physically enter the centurion’s house and, even though absent in body, He was present in majesty and healed both that house and its faith.   Similarly, our Lord stood physically only amongst the people of Judaea – other peoples did not see His being born of a virgin, or suffering, or walking, or subject to the condition of human nature, or carrying out divine miracles.   None of these things were done amongst the gentiles and yet it was amongst them that what was said about Him was fulfilled:  “A people I did not know have served me.”   In what way did they serve Him?   The Psalm continues: “As soon as they heard me, they obeyed me” (Ps 18[17]:44-45).”…St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of the Churchlord-i-am-not-worth-luke-7-6b-7-and-indeed-the-gentiles-believed-st-augustine-17-sept-2018

PRAYER – Lord God and holy Father, guard our faith we pray and grace us with Your mercy.   Keep us every faithful to Your precepts and bring us to Your home, to look upon Your Face.   May the prayers of Your saints assist us on our journey.   In your untiring life of trust in God, Sts Cornelius and Cyprian, you sought to make Him the goal of all and the love of all, please pray that we may imitate your zeal and love.   We ask all this through Christ, our Lord with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.sts-cornelius-and-cyprian-pray-for-us-16-sept-2017

Posted in Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, The WORD, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Our Morning Offering – 16 September – Only What You Will or Will Not

Our Morning Offering – 16 September –  Monday of the Twenty Fourth week in Ordinary Time, Year C

Only What You Will or Will Not
By Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)

Grant me Your grace,
most merciful Jesus,
so that it may be with me
and work with me
and persevere with me to the end.
Grant that I may always want
and desire that which is
most acceptable and pleasing to You.
Let Your will be mine
and let my will always follow Yours
and be in perfect accord with it.
Let me always will or not will,
the same with You
and may I not be able to will
or not will
anything, except
what You will or will not.
Amenonly what you will nor will not thomas a kempis 16 sept 2019.jpg

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 16 September – Blessed Pope Victor III (1027-1087)

Saint of the Day – 16 September – Blessed Pope Victor III (1027-1087) “the Gentle Pope” Benedictine Abbot, Monk, Advisor, diplomat, reformer – papal ascension – elected 24 May 1086 and enthroned on 9 May 1087 – until his death.  He was born Dauferio in 1027 in Benevento, Italy and died on 16 September 1087 at the monastery of Monte Cassino of natural causes.   He was buried at Monte Cassino.   He is also known as Desiderius.428px-Pope_Victor_III

Few have been more reluctant to accept the papacy than the Monk who became Victor III.   Blessed Pope Victor III was born a Prince of the dukes of Benevento around the year 1026, the only son of Prince Landulf V.   Victor was always monastically inclined, having skilfully avoided not one but two arranged marriages before opting for life as a hermit and monk.

When his father died fighting the Normans, Dauferio escaped the watch of his relatives and entered a monastery.   But the enraged relatives hunted him down, tore off his religious habit and hustled the would-be monk home.   Dauferio, however, had a mind of his own and soon escaped again.   This time his relatives agreed to let him remain a Monk.   As a Benedictine Monk, he received the name Desiderius.   In spite of his aversion to honour and power, his sweet disposition and pronounced ability caught the attention of the reforming Popes.   St Leo IX and Victor II took a great liking to the young Benedictine.  He succeeded Abbot Frederick when the latter was elected Pope Stephen Victor_III._-_Desiderius_of_Montecassino

Desiderio proved to be one of the greatest in the long line of Cassinese Abbots.   He had found the old abbey in a ruinous state and energetically undertook a wide-scale rebuilding program.   Under his leadership there rose a chapter house, an Abbots’ house, a library, a dormitory and a great church.    Pope Alexander II consecrated it in 1071.   As Abbot, Desiderius became renowned as the greatest Abbot the monastery had seen since St Benedict himself.    Desiderius’ reputation brought gifts and exemptions to the Abbey. The money was spent on church ornaments, including a great golden altar front from Constantinople adorned with gems and enamels and “nearly all the church ornaments of Victor II, which had been pawned here and there throughout the city”.   Peter the Deacon gives a list of some seventy books Desiderius had copied at Monte Cassino, including works of Saint Augustine, Saint Ambrose, Saint Bede, Saint Basil, Saint Jerome, Saint Gregory of Nazianzus and Cassian, the histories of Josephus, Paul Warnfrid, Jordanes and Saint Gregory of Tours, the Institutes and Novels of Justinian, the works of Terence, Virgil and Seneca, Cicero’s De natura deorum and Ovid’s Fasti.

Vicente Carducho:   Vision of Pope Victor III.

No mere bricks-and-mortar Abbot, Desiderius took great pains to help his Monks’ advance in the spiritual life.   Nor was he neglectful of the abbey’s intellectual life.   As Abbot of Monte Cassino, Desiderius was a great personage in Southern Italy.   This power he used loyally to back the reform popes.   Nicholas II made him a Cardinal and Papal Legate.   He had great influence with the Normans and it was he who secured their help for St Gregory VII in his time of need.    So great was his reputation with the Holy See that he “…was allowed by the Roman Pontiff to appoint Bishops and Abbots from among his Benedictine brethren in whatever churches or monasteries he desired, of those that had lost their patron”.

It is not surprising that when Gregory VII died, Abbot Desiderius was sought as his successor.   But Desiderius simply would not agree to accept the heavy honour.   At last on Pentecost Sunday, 24 May 1086, the exasperated Cardinals and clergy carried Desiderius to the Church of St Lucy, and forcibly clothED him with the papal mantle, called him Victor III.   But four days later Victor put off the papal insignia and withdrew to Monte Cassino.   It was almost a year later, before he finally consented to serve as Pope.   At a great council held at Capua in 1087 Victor at last surrendered.   When the Normans drove antipope Guibert out of Rome, Victor was solemnly enthroned in St Peter’s on 9 May pope victor III.jpg

Much could be hoped for from such a Pope as Blessed Victor III but his health was failing and his short pontificate was stormy.   Unable or unwilling to maintain himself in Rome against Antipope Guibert, Victor held a council at Benevento, which once more excommunicated the antipope and once more condemned lay investiture.  When the council had lasted three days, Victor became seriously ill and retired to Monte Cassino to die.   He had himself carried into the chapter-house, issued various decrees for the benefit of the abbey, appointed with the consent of the monks the prior, Cardinal Oderisius, to succeed him in the Abbacy, just as he himself had been appointed by Stephen IX and proposed Odo of Ostia to the assembled cardinals and bishops as the next Pope.   He died on 16 September 1087 and was buried in the tomb he had prepared for himself in his beloved  Abbey’s chapter-house.   Odo was duly elected his successor as Pope Urban II

In the sixteenth century his body was removed to the abbey church and again translated in 1890.   The cult of Blessed Victor III seems to have begun not later than the pontificate of Pope Anastasius IV, about six decades after his death.   In 1727 the Abbot of Monte Cassino obtained from Pope Benedict XIII permission to keep his feast.   Pope Leo XIII Beatified Victor I on 23 July 1887.

VICTOR ii.jpg

Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 16 September

St Pope Cornelius (Martyred in 253) (Memorial)
St Cyprian of Carthage (190-Martyred in 258) (Memorial)
Full story here:

St Abundantius of Rome
St Abundius of Rome
St Andrew Kim Taegon
St Cunibert of Maroilles
St Curcodomus
Bl Dominic Shobyoye
St Dulcissima of Sutri
St Edith of Wilton
St Eugenia of Hohenburg
St Euphemia of Chalcedon
St Geminianus of Rome
St John of Rome
Bl Louis Allemand
St Lucy of Rome
St Ludmila
St Marcian the Senator
Bl Martin of Huerta
Bl Michael Himonaya
St Ninian (Died 432) Apostle to the Southern Picts

Bl Paul Fimonaya
St Priscus of Nocera
St Rogellus of Cordoba
St Sebastiana
St Servus Dei
St Stephen of Perugia
Blessed Pope Victor III OSB (1027-1087)
St Vitalis of Savigny

Martyrs of the Via Nomentana: Four Christian men martyred together, date unknown – Alexander, Felix, Papias and Victor. They were martyred on the Via Nomentana outside Rome, Italy.

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
• Blessed Antonio Martínez García
• Blessed Ignasi Casanovas Perramón
• Blessed Manuel Ferrer Jordá
• Blessed Pablo Martínez Robles
• Blessed Salvador Ferrer Cardet