Thought for the Day – 25 September – “O element, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary!”

Thought for the Day – 25 September – The Memorial of Blessed Herman of Reichenau/the Cripple OSB (1013–1054) the Author of the Salve Regina


In the year 1146 Saint Bernard, the illustrious doctor of the Church and abbot of Clairvaux, was travelling through Germany and by the power of his eloquence was rousing the people of that country to the necessity of entering upon another crusade, a spirited one, in order to wrest from the iron grasp of the heathens those places in Palestine that had been sanctified by the footsteps and moistened with the blood, of our holy Redeemer.

Passing from Switzerland, by way of Strasbourg, Saint Bernard sailed down the river Rhine and landed at Spire, on Christmas Eve, 1146.   In a grand procession, composed of the civic societies and trades unions, with their banners waving in the air and holding lighted tapers in their hands, followed in turn by the clergy with their bishop clad in pontifical robes, Saint Bernard was conducted, amid every sign of respect from the multitudes who lined the streets of the city, to the majestic cathedral.

Here, amid the chant of the choristers and the joyful pealing of the bells, the great preacher of the holy wars was met by the Emperor Conrad and all the royal princes of the court, who tendered to their illustrious guest the welcome of their realm.

It was a scene of great magnificence as the saint crossed the threshold of the sacred edifice.   Thousands had to remain outside the building, for the saint’s great reputation for sanctity and the fame of the wondrous miracles that he had wrought, as well as his renowned eloquence, had drawn vast crowds from far and near, eager to get a glimpse of his venerable person.

As the solemn procession, preceded by the cross and other standards, marched slowly up the grand aisle of the cathedral, a choir of a thousand voices chanted the hymn, “Salve, Regina,” or “Hail, holy Queen.”   The lofty vaults of the sacred edifice spanning many altars ablaze with a thousand lights, the soldierly form of the emperor, the venerable mien of the holy bishops, the long files of white-robed priests, the vast crowds of admiring people, the inspiring strains of the music and all this but the expression of truly Catholic hearts, over-powered the soul of Saint Bernard with emotions of intense gratitude to God and His blessed Mother.

The altar was reached as the singers’ voices repeated the last words of the “Salve, Regina.”    A profound silence ensued as the words, “Et Jesum, benedictum fructum ventris tui, nobis post hoc exilium ostende” – that is, “Show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus,” died away. In a moment of inspiration, and overwhelmed with the loftiest sentiments of piety towards the Blessed Virgin, the great Saint Bernard, in thrilling tones, exclaimed spontaneously,
“O clemens, O pia, O dukis Virgo Maria!”
that is, “O element, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary!”

From that moment the “Salve, Regina” continued to have a new ending.   The love-breathing words of Saint Bernard, the honey-tongued doctor, as holy Church styles him, were universally adopted and added, with a will by all, to the “Salve, Regina” originally composed by Blessed Herman the Cripple.

They form a beautiful and fitting ending to a beautiful apostrophe to the Mother of God. In the cathedral at Spire, every day, from that time till our day, the “Salve, Regina” is sung solemnly in memory of the events so sacred which led to the inspired composition of its present ending and in memory of the saint who uttered the beautiful words.

Salve Regina, Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God!

V Pray for us, O holy Mother of God,
℟ that we may be made worthy
of the promises of Christ.

Blessed Herman, Pray for Us!
St Bernard, Pray for us!salve regina pray for us - mary 27 march 2019.jpg


Quote/s of the Day – 25 September – God Chooses those who Count for Nothing!

Quote/s of the Day – 25 September – The Memorial of Blessed Herman of Reichenau/the Cripple OSB (1013–1054) the Author of the Salve Regina, the Veni Sancte Spiritus and the Alma Redemptoris Mater

Let us thank God for Blessed Herman the Cripple.   He stands as a shining light reminding us that God purposely chose what the world considers nonsense, in order to shame the wise and He chose what the world considers weak, in order to shame the powerful.   He chose what the world looks down on and despises and thinks is nothing, in order to destroy what the world thinks is important.

Rather, God chose the foolish of the world, 
to shame the wise and God chose the weak
of the world, to shame the strong
and God chose the lowly
and despised of the world,
those who count for nothing,
to reduce to nothing
those who are something ….

1 Corinthians 1:27-28

“In his own day, the heroic cripple who achieved learning and holiness

was called ‘The Wonder of His Age’.

In our day, many voices say

that people with disabilities.

should be phased out of existence.

Which were the Dark Ages, then or now!” … Father McNamara

1 cor 1 27-28 god chooses the lowly - bl herman the cripple - 25 sept 2019 no 2.jpg

Veni Sancte Spiritus
This translation was by Father Edward Caswall (1814-1878)

Holy Spirit, Lord of light,
From Thy clear celestial height
Thy pure beaming radiance give.
Come, Thou Father of the poor,
Come with treasures which endure,
Come, Thou Light of all that live.
Thou, of all consolers best,
Thou, the soul’s delightsome Guest,
Dost refreshing peace bestow.
Thou in toil art comfort sweet,
Pleasant coolness in the heat,
Solace in the midst of woe.
Light immortal, Light divine,
Visit Thou these hearts of Thine,
And our inmost being fill.
If Thou take Thy grace away,
Nothing pure in man will stay;
All his good is turned to ill.
Heal our wounds; our strength renew;
On our dryness pour Thy dew;
Wash the stains of guilt away.
Bend the stubborn heart and will;
Melt the frozen, warm the chill;
Guide the steps that go astray.
Thou, on those who evermore
Thee confess and Thee adore,
In Thy sevenfold gifts descend:
Give them comfort when they die,
Give them life with Thee on high;
Give them joys that never end.


Alma Redemptóris Mater, quæ pérvia cæli
Porta manes, et stella maris, succúrre cadénti,
Súrgere qui curat pópulo: tu quæ genuísti,
Natúra miránte, tuum sanctum Genitórem
Virgo prius ac postérius, Gabriélis ab ore
Sumens illud Ave, peccatórum miserére.

Mother of Christ!  Hear thou thy people’s cry,
Star of the deep and portal of the sky!
Mother of Him Who thee from nothing made,
Sinking we strive and call to thee for aid;
Oh, by that joy which Gabriel brought to thee,
Thou Virgin first and last, let us thy mercy see.Blessed_Herman_the_Cripple.jpg

Posted in ONE Minute REFLECTION, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 25 September – He sent them out to preach and to heal.

One Minute Reflection – 25 September – Wednesday of the Twenty-fifth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 9:1–6 and the Memorial of Blessed Herman of Reichenau/the Cripple OSB (1013–1054) “The Wonder of his Age’

And he called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal. … Luke 9:1-2

REFLECTION – “The other instruction that is very important in the Gospel passage is that the Twelve cannot simply preach conversion – along with preaching there must be, according to the orders and example of Jesus, curing of the sick.   Cure of the physically and spiritually sick.   He speaks of the concrete healings of illnesses and of the casting out of demons, that is, the purifying of the human mind, cleaning, cleaning the eyes of the soul that have been darkened by ideologies and so cannot see God, they cannot see truth and justice.   This double physical and spiritual healing is always the mandate of Christ’s disciples.   So, the apostolic mission must always carry these two aspects of preaching the word of God and manifesting His goodness with gestures of charity, service and dedication.” … Pope Benedict XVI 16 July 2012luke 9 1-2 and he caled the twelve and gave them power - pope benedict - he speaks of the concrete healings 25 sept 2019

PRAYER – O God of love, You sent Your beloved Son to the world to proclaim the Good News of Salvation, to heal every illness and to cure all infirmity of body and soul.   Help us to continue the mission of the merciful Christ in the service towards our neighbour, preaching the Gospel and offering our help in whatever way we can.   May the example of suffering of Blessed Herman the Cripple, teach us how to love and serve You.   Through his intercession, grant us the grace to go forth in love.   We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, herman the cripple pray for us 25 sept 2019


Our Morning Offering – 25 September – Salve Regina, Hail Holy Queen by Blessed Herman

Our Morning Offering – 25 September – Wednesday of the Twenty-fifth week in Ordinary Time, Year C and the Memorial of Blessed Herman of Reichenau/the Cripple OSB (1013–1054) the Author of the Salve Regina

Salve Regina
Hail Holy Queen
By Blessed Herman the Cripple (1013–1054)

Hail, holy Queen, Mother of Mercy
Hail our life, our sweetness and our hope.
To thee do we cry,
Poor banished children of Eve,
To thee do we send up our sighs,
Mourning and weeping in this vale of tears.
Turn then, most gracious advocate,
Thine eyes of mercy toward us
And after this our exile,
Show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus

This line by St Bernard (1090-1153) Doctor of the Church
O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.

℣ Pray for us, O holy Mother of God,
℟ that we may be made worthy
of the promises of Christ.salve regina hail holy queen - by bl herman the cripple 25 sept 2019


Saint of the Day – 25 September – Blessed Herman of Reichenau/the Cripple OSB (1013–1054) “The Wonder of his Age”

Saint of the Day – 25 September – Blessed Herman of Reichenau/the Cripple OSB (1013–1054) Benedictine Monk, Confessor, Scholar, Scientist, Writer, Hymnist, Poet, Musical Composer, Teacher – born on 18 February 1013 at Altshausen, Swabia (in modern Germany) and died on 21 September 1054 at Reichenau abbey, Germany of natural causes.   Also known as Hermann Contractus, Herimanus Augiensis, Hermann von Reichenau.BlHermanCri1.jpg

In his own day, the heroic cripple who achieved learning and holiness was called ‘The Wonder of His Age’.   He composed works on history, music theory, mathematics and astronomy, as well as many hymns.   Composer of the “Salve Regina” Hail Holy Queen, “Veni Sancte Spiritus” Come Holy Spirit and “Alma Redemptoris Mater” Nourishing Mother of the Redeemer.   He was renowned as a religious poet and musical composer. Among his surviving works are officia for St Afra and St Wolfgang.   When he went blind in later life, he began writing hymns and these have carried the Church and still do for a 1000 years in joy and glory!Salve_Regina

Blessed Herman was the son of Count Wolverad II von Altshausen.   Being a cripple (born with a cleft palate, cerebral palsy and possibly spina bifida – though today it is thought that he had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or spinal muscular atrophy) from birth (hence the surname Contractus) he was powerless to move without assistance and it was only by the greatest effort that he was able to read and write but he was so highly gifted intellectually, that when he was but seven years of age his parents confided him to the learned Abbot Berno, on the island of Reichenau.Blessed Herman the Cripple

His great love and sincere devotion for the “Mother of the afflicted ” secured him peace of soul and even lightened his bodily sufferings.   We are told, however, that he continued to pray to his beloved Mother for restoration to health and strength, if it should be pleasing to God.   Pious legend informs us, that when he had prayed thus for some months, the Blessed Virgin appeared to him and offered him the choice between two gifts, namely, health or wisdom.   Herman, without hesitating a moment, chose the gift of wisdom.   He made a wise selection, for notwithstanding his bodily infirmities he became one of the most learned men of his time.   Under the poor form of a deformed body there dwelt a noble soul, a clear and richly gifted intellect and a humble and charitable heart.

Herman spent his entire life in the monastery Reichenau as a teacher, researcher and musician.   Herman was bound to a carrying chair and was completely dependent on his servants.   He could only write with difficulty and one may assume that he has dictated a large part of his works.   And even that might have been difficult, as his biographer writes that he could only speak with difficulty and was barely understandable.   But if we are allowed to believe Berthold, his charisma, his cheerfulness and his modesty of intelligence were so impressive that everyone had to love him.SONY DSC

A good student of theology, he could also produce works of spiritual depth.   For a readership of nuns he wrote a discourse “On the Eight Principal Vices.”   It was cast in poetry and he handled the versification with great lyricism. He also knew how to give serious matters a light touch.   The treatise for nuns was witty and he even began his world chronicle with a touch of self-depreciation:   “Herman, the rubbish of Christ’s little ones, lagging behind the learners of philosophy more slowly than a donkey or a slug … ”

Herman was not just a music theoretician but, with that, he took on a special position – he himself created melodies – and he may be considered one of the first known composers of Gregorian chants.   In contrast to the strict Gregorian chant, his music show an almost romantic melody.   His “Salve Regina” is clearly the work of a master.

Herman gave instructions on how to measure the circumference of the earth at a time when there was not even clarity about the spherical shape of the earth.   One of Herman’s inventions was the pillar sundial , which he called the horologium viatorum.

His iron will overcame all obstacles and it was not long before his brilliant attainments made him a shining light in the most diversified branches of learning, including, besides theology, mathematics, astronomy, music, the Latin, Greek and Arabic tongues.   Students soon flocked to him from all parts, attracted not only by the fame of his scholarship but also by his monastic virtue and his lovable hermann_de_reichenau_45_01.jpg

We are indebted to him chiefly for a chronicle of the most important events from the birth of Christ to his day.   It is the earliest of the medieval universal chronicles now extant and was compiled from numerous sources, being a monument to his great industry as well as to his extraordinary erudition and strict regard for accuracy.   While it is not improbable that this work was based on a previous state chronicle of Swabia, since lost (called “Chronicum Universale Suevicum”, or “Epitome Sangallensis”), it has nevertheless a significance entirely its own.   But the full measure of his genius appears from the objectivity and clearness with which he wrote the history of his own time, the materials of which were accessible to him only by means of verbal tradition.

In later life he became blind and had to give up his academic writing.

He died on the island of Reichenau, Lake Constance, 21 September, 1054.   He was Beatified in 1863 by Pope Pius IX.

Three of five symphonies that were written by Russian composer Galina Ustvolskaya are based on his texts.

relics of bl herman - Altshausen_Schlosskirche_Reliquie_Hermann_der_Lahme_2005.jpg
Relics of Blessed Herman in Altshausen, Germany

Our Lady of the Rosary of San Nicolás, Argentina and Memorials of the Saints – 25 September

Our Lady of the Rosary of San Nicolás, Argentina – 25 September:
An ordinary housewife, a mother and grandmother who had no formal education and no knowledge of the Bible or theology claimed that she was visited by the Blessed Mother daily for a period of over 6 years.   She reportedly additionally received 68 messages from Jesus Christ.   Numerous healings, including the cure of a boy with a brain tumour, have been documented.

Every 25 September, the city of San Nicolás hosts hundreds of thousands of pilgrims and faithful who meet to venerate and honour the statue of Our Lady of the Rosary of St Nicholas.   In 2003, on the twentieth anniversary of the first apparition of Our Lady, the second largest group ever congregated – 400,000 faithful.   Pilgrims came from all the provinces of Argentina, with a group of more than 1,000 people from Buenos Aires who travelled the whole 240 km distance on foot – a distance three times greater than that from Buenos Aires to the national Basilica of Our Lady of Luján.   On 25 September 2013, thirty years after the first apparition of Our Lady, 500,000 people gathered surpassing the record of 2004 when the greatest number of pilgrims visited.

In a decree signed on 22 May 2016 and made public a few days later, Héctor Cardelli, Bishop of the Diocese of San Nicolás, declared that the apparitions that took place in city of San Nicolás were supernatural in origin.   The devotion is thus approved at the Diocesan level within the Catholic Church.our-lady-of-the-rosary-san-nicolas-argentina.jpg

St Anacharius of Auxerre
St Aurelia of Macerata
St Caian of Tregaian
St Ceolfrid
St Cleopas
St Egelred of Crowland
St Ermenfridus of Luxeuil
St Finbar
St Firminus of Amiens
St Fymbert
St Herculanus the Soldier
Bl Herman of Reichenau/the Cripple (1013–1054)

Bl Marco Criado
St Mewrog
St Neomisia of Mecerata
St Paphnutius of Alexandria
St Principius of Soissons
St Sergius of Moscow
St Solemnis of Chartres
St Vincent Strambi C.P. (1745-1824)
Biography here:

Martyrs of Damascus: A Christian family of six who were tortured to death in a persecution by Roman authorities. They were: Eugenia, Maximus, Paul, Rufus, Sabinian and Tatta.   They were tortured to death in Damascus, Syria, date unknown.

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
• Blessed Jose María Bengoa Aranguren
• Blessed Josep Maria Vidal Segú
• Blessed Juan Agustín Codera Marqués
• Blessed Julio Esteve Flors
• Blessed Pedro Leoz Portillo
• Blessed Rafael Pardo Molina
• Blessed Tomás Gil de La Cal

Feast of the Holy Bishops of Milan – a 1st Century Diocese!
Imagine being part of a diocese in which 37 of your past bishops are saints and some are also Doctors of the Church and Popes (and others being considered for sanctity)!   The latest addition to this illustrious role-call, is beloved Saint Pope Paul VI.
Today, the Church in Milan commemorates these holy bishops.
They are:
• Blessed Alfredo Ildefonso Schuster
• Blessed Andrea Carlo Ferrari
• Pope Pius XI
• Saint Ambrose of Milan
• Saint Ampelius of Milan
• Saint Anathalon of Milan
• Saint Antoninus of Milan
• Saint Auxanus of Milan
• Saint Benedict Crispus of Milan
• Saint Benignus of Milan
• Saint Calimerius of Milan
• Saint Castritian of Milan
• Saint Charles Borromeo
• Saint Datius of Milan
• Saint Dionysius of Milan
• Saint Eugene of Milan
• Saint Eusebius of Milan
• Saint Eustorgius II of Milan
• Saint Eustorgius of Milan
• Saint Gaius of Milan
• Saint Galdinus of Milan
• Saint Geruntius of Milan
• Saint Glycerius of Milan
• Saint Honoratus of Milan
• Saint John Camillus the Good
• Saint Lazarus of Milan
• Saint Magnus of Milan
• Saint Mansuetus of Milan
• Saint Marolus of Milan
• Saint Martinian of Milan
• Saint Mirocles of Milan
• Saint Mona of Milan
• Saint Natalis of Milan
Saint Pope Paul VI
• Saint Protasius of Milan
• Saint Senator of Milan
• Saint Simplician of Milan
• Saint Venerius of Milanmilan cathedral exteriormilan cathedral