Thought for the Day – 7 February – Religion and Action

Thought for the Day – 7 February – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Religion and Action

John 14 6 i am the way -the Christian religion is moe than - bacci 7 feb2020

“Jesus says in the Gospel:  “I am the way and the truth and the life” (Jn 14:6).
The world was lost in the darkness of error and in the entanglement of vice.
Jesus came to point out the only path which leads to truth and to virtue.
But He was not satisfied merely to show the way and to preach the truth.
There were philosophers who had spoken eloquently and taught wisely on the subject of truth and the virtues.
Nobody, however, was able to give men the strength to follow their precepts.
Many could have repeated the words of the poet:  “Video meliora proboque deteriora sequor;  “I see what it is better to do but I do what is worse” (Ovid, Metamorphoses, VII, 20-21).
Jesus, on the other hand, not only taught the way and the truth but by His grace, gave men a spark of the divine life which was in Him.
The Christian religion is more than a system of doctrines to be firmly held.
It is more than a system of private and public worship of God and veneration of His Saints, more than a mere collection of rites to be observed.
It should also be a way of life in full conformity with the moral precepts given by Jesus Christ.
He is declared to be not only the way and the truth but our very life, in the sense, that He transfuses into us, His own divine life, by means of His grace, with which we must co-operate generously, if we wish to be true Christians.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci


Quote/s of the Day – 7 February – Being a Missionary

Quote/s of the Day – 7 February – The Memorial of Bl Alfredo Cremonesi PIME (1902-1953) Priest and Martyr

“If I were born a thousand times,
I would go back on mission,
a thousand times.”

if i were born a thousand times - bl alfredp cremonesi 7 feb 2020

“[Being a Missionary is]
the most wonderful work
that a man is given.”

Bl Alfredo Cremonesi (1902-1953)

being a missionary is the most wonderful work bl alfredo cremonesi 7 feb 2020

“The Crucified One made us missionaries
and it is the Crucified One again,
who must nourish in us, love for souls.”

the crucified one made us missionaries - bl paolo manna 7 feb 2020

“The well-being of souls is only in Christ.
Therefore, let the love of Jesus
be our perfection and our profession,
let us light our hearts
from the eternal flames of love
that radiate from the Sacred Heart of Jesus.”

Blessed Paolo Manna PIME (1872-1952)
“A Burning Soul”

Priest, Missionary in Burma (Myanmar),
Superior General of PIME,
Founder of the Pontifical Missionary Union

Bl Paolo Manna’s life here:

the well-being of souls is only in christ bl paolo manna 7 feb 2020


One Minute Reflection – 7 February – ‘Learn to think and live like a Christian.’

One Minute Reflection – 7 February – Friday of the Fourth Week of Ordinary Time, Year A, Readings: Sirach 47:2-11 (2-13), Psalm 18:31, 47, 50-51, Mark 6:14-29 and the Memorial of Bl Alfredo Cremonesi PIME (1902-1953) Priest and Martyr

“He brought in the head on a platter and gave it to the girl.   The girl in turn gave it to her mother.” … Mark 6:28

REFLECTION – “In what way, then, was this just man harmed by this demise, this violent death, these chains, this imprisonment?   Who are those he did not set back on their feet — provided they had a penitent disposition — because of what he spoke, because of what he suffered, because of what he still proclaims in our own day — the same message he preached while he was living.   Therefore, do not say:  “Why was John allowed to die?” For what occurred was not a death but a crown, not an end but the beginning of a greater life.

Learn to think and live like a Christian.   You will not only remain unharmed by these events but will reap the greatest benefits.” … St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father & Doctor – On the Providence of God, 22.he brought in the head mark 6 28 - what occurred was not a death but a crown st john chrysostom 7 feb 2020

PRAYER –  Father of mercy, You chose Blessed Alfredo Cremonesi to be a father to orphans in their need.   Grant that through his prayer, we may keep faithfully the spirit of sonship, by which we are not only called but really are Your children.   Help us to imitate his love and faith, manifesting by our commitment to Your commandments, our true faith.   May we be filled with strength and grace as we face persecution and animosity in Your service.   We make our prayer through Jesus, our Lord in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God forever, amenbl alfredo cremonesi pray for us 7 feb 2020


Our Morning Offering – 7 February – Let Me Breathe through You

Our Morning Offering – 7 February – Friday of the Fourth Week of Ordinary Time, Year A

Let Me Breathe through You
by Fr Jean Galot SJ (1919-2008)

Lord, be the goal of my pilgrimage
here upon the earth.
Let me cling to You
with all the force of my longing.
Let me penetrate
the very depth of Your heart.
Let me breathe through You
and let me live by the breath of Your love.
Let me work for You,
not shunning hardship and fatigue.
Let me rest in You,
in unending confidence and friendship.
Let me radiate, through You,
Your divine, loving kindness and apostolic zeal.
Let me remain in You forever,
firmly rooted in Your love.


~from Prayers to the Sacred Heart of Jesus by Fr Jean Galot, SJ (1919-2008)let me breathe through you fr jean galot sj 7 feb 2020

Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 7 February – Blessed Alfredo Cremonesi PIME (1902-1953) Priest and Martyr

Saint of the Day – 7 February – Blessed Alfredo Cremonesi PIME (1902-1953) Priest and Martyr, Missionary of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME), Writer, Poet – born on 15 May 1902 in Ripalta Guerina, Cremona, Italy and died on 7 February 1953 (aged 50) in Donokù, Taungngu, Bago, Myanmar by being shot.   Fr Alfredo fostered a great devotion to Saint Thérèse of Lisieux and to the Sacred Heart.   He practised Eucharistic Adoration each night for one hour before the Tabernacle and awoke around 4:00 am in the morning to celebrate Mass.    Patronage – Missionaries.

When he left for the missions, he knew that he would never return to the Italian mainland and spent the remainder of his life working with the Burmese people in mountain villages despite the great difficulties he

Alfredo Cremonesi was born on 15 May 1902 in Ripalta Guerina in Cremona as the first of seven children to the grocer Enrico Cremonesi and Maria Rosa Scartabellati.

He was Baptised on 16 May in the local parish church, Confirmed on 4 October 1908 from the Bishop of Crema Ernesto Fontana and then made his First Communion on 1 April 1909.   His father was a devoted Christian who opposed Fascism and it was his mother who oversaw the religious education of the seven children.   It was in his childhood that he read the journal of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux and from that point fostered a deep devotion to her and like her to becoming a Missionary.   His brother Ernesto was also a devoted Christian whom the Nazis arrested and jailed in a concentration camp where he would die in 1945 before the European Theatre conflict ended.    Alfredo sent a letter to his parents upon learning this and said  “I am proud to be his brother” and that “Ernesto will be able to do more in paradise than he could have done on earth.”

His time in school was interrupted due to a severe disease and he was forced to spend most of that time confined to his bed.   His frail health since childhood led to people concluding that he would never be able to enter the missions since it would be improbable that he would be cured of his consistent ailments.   But he defied all medical knowledge and the expectation of doctors who thought he would die in a few months, overcame his disease and attributed his recovery to Saint Thérèse of Lisieux.

Upon his recuperation on 17 September 1922, he transferred to Milan to study in an institute that the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions ran, to prepare new missionaries.   He became known for being both impetuous and a gifted writer who published a collection of poems.

He was Ordained to the Priesthood by the PIME Bishop, Giovanni Menicatti in the San Francesco Saverio church and then in June 1925 learned that his dream to enter the missions was to take place, for he would be sent to the then-Burma.   On 19 October 1924 in San Michele and on 5 October 1925 received the Cross of the Missions from the Archbishop of Milan Eugenio Tosi.   He left Genoa for Naples and set sail from there on 16 October 1925.   His mother was devastated by his departure and maintained frequent correspondence with him.

But his new mission also proved difficult for the enthusiastic Fr Alfredo who suffered from loneliness for a brief time upon his arrival on 10 November 1925.   He worked with the Karen people in an isolated mountain village and often had to travel miles on foot between villages, to visit the people.   He was later transferred to Donokù and would remain there until the outbreak of World War II in relative peace.   Alfredo was often exhausted from his extensive walking missions and also contracted malaria.    During the 1920s he maintained correspondence with the PIME superior Blessed Paolo Manna (1872-1952) and met with Manna when he visited the Burmese missions on 19 February alfredo cremonesi

The outbreak of World War II saw the British-run Burma enter the conflict to the detriment of Italian missionaries who soon found themselves as enemies, due to Benito Mussolini declaring his alliance with Hitler.    Near the end of the war he was forced to live in the forest where he ate herbs in order to survive.   Fr Alfredo wrote of the trials he endured during the war in a letter dated on 20 February 1946, he refers to his lack of food and clothing (limited to what he had on) and noting that villages were abandoned.

In 1941 he avoided Japanese imprisonment in a concentration camp in India after the Japanese occupied the nation.   He lived eating herbs cooked in salt and water during this time but was discovered and caught.   In the final month of the war a Japanese officer took him and tied him up for the night before allowing him to leave in the morning where he took refuge in the woods.   Alfredo did not understand the reason for his release but attributed it to the intercession of God.

When the Second World War ended, a local one began, the First Karen War (1948-1952), between the Karen and the central government.   Against this background, he was not keen to abandon the Catholic villages because his presence was often a good deterrent to violence.

In 1950, unfortunately, two other PIME missionaries, Mario Vergara and Pietro Galastri, lost their lives.   In August of the same year Fr Alfredo was asked to leave, especially Donokù parish and took refuge in Toungoo.   For him, it was true exile, far from his Christians.   He made it back only in March 1952 and promised not to leave again. “Whatever my death, as long as it is not in exile,” he said after he went back to Donokù.   Still, exile spared him a first encounter with martyrdom.

Although “In the village where I lived, all of my belongings were looted, everything I had at home, in the church, in the school, in the convent … The work of 26 years was all lost”, nothing could prevent Alfredo from going back to his own people.   “I shan’t run away anymore, whatever happens.   At most they’ll kill me.”

On February 7, 1953, after the Burmese military operation failed to flush out Karen rebels from the region, government troops entered Donokù and accused Fr Alfredo and the villagers, of supporting the rebels.   They shot him and the village chief.   Fr Alfredo died instantly.

Right after his death, he was declared a Martyr by popular sensus fidei.   “A victim of his charity” and “a good shepherd who gave his life for his flock,” they said of him.   Some faithful were eager to deliver an envelope with some personal effects to the then Bishop of Toungoo, Msgr Lanfranconi.   On the envelope was written:  ‘Relics of the martyr Father Cremonesi to be sent to his parents’.   Of the many names his people called Fr Alfredo, “the smile of the mission” is the most beautiful.BL ALFREDO CREMONESI MARTYR Crema-_Beatificazione

Cardinal Angelo Becciu, head of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, celebrated his Beatification by Decree of the Order of Martyrdom in Crema, Myanmar on 19 October 2019 on the eve of World Mission Sunday (20 October) and on the 95th anniversary of the first Mass celebrated by Blessed Alfredo on 19 October 1924 in San Michele Church in Cremona.

Cardinal Becciu said:

“With the testimony of his life generously offered for love of Christ, the Blessed Alfredo speaks today to this Diocese of Crema … he speaks to the missionaries … he speaks to the whole Church, noting that dying for the faith is a gift granted only to some but living the faith is a direct call to all.   Just as the theme of this World Missionary Sunday urges us: Baptised and sent.”

Posted in SAINT of the DAY, YouTube VIDEOS

Memorials of the Saints -7 February

Bl Adalbert Nierychlewski
Blessed Alfredo Cremonesi PIME (1902-1953) Priest and Martyr
St Adaucus of Phrygia
St Amulwinus of Lobbes
St Anatolius of Cahors
Bl Anna Maria Adorni Botti
Bl Anselmo Polanco
Bl Anthony of Stroncone
St Augulus
St Chrysolius of Armenia
Bl Eugenie Smet
St Fidelis of Merida
Bl Felipe Ripoll Morata
St Giles Mary of Saint Joseph OFM (1729-1812)
St Giles Life:

Bl Jacques Sales
St John of Triora
St Juliana of Bologna
Bl Klara Szczesna
St Lorenzo Maiorano
St Luke the Younger
St Maximus of Nola
St Meldon of Péronne
St Moses the Hermit
St Parthenius of Lampsacus
Bl Peter Verhun
Bl Pope Pius IX (1792-1878)
All about Blessed Pope Pius IX:

St Richard the King
Bl Rizziero of Muccia
Bl Rosalie Rendu (1786-1856)
St Theodore Stratelates
Bl Thomas Sherwood (1551–1578) Martyr

St Tressan of Mareuil
Bl William Saultemouche