Thought for the Day – 11 February – The Love of Our Neighbour

Thought for the Day – 11 February – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Love of Our Neighbour

“The Gospel not only commands us to love God above all things but also, to love our neighbour as ourselves (Cf Mt 13:35-40).
The Christian love of our neighbour, flows necessarily from the love of God.
Our Creator loves all men as His own sons.
Therefore, we ought to love one another as brothers, even as Our Lord loves us.
We should see, in our neighbour, especially if he is in need, the person of Christ Himself, our elder brother, “the first-born among many brethren” (Rom 8:29).

If men sincerely loved one another, not merely as brothers but as much as they love themselves, what problems would be solved!
Who can say how many evils would be abated and how many sorrows would be assuaged?
To transform the world, it would be enough to put into practice the first great commandment of the Gospel, which is the commandment of charity.
Admittedly, the world would not become an earthly paradise, for any such Utopia is an impossibility.
But, it would become a dignified dwelling place of brothers, loving and helping one another.
“Love is the fulfilment of the law,” St Paul very truly says (Rom 13:10).
“Have charity, which is the bond of perfection” (Col 3:14).

Antonio Cardinal Bacci


Quote/s of the Day – 11 February – Our Lady of Lourdes, St Gregory II

Quote/s of the Day – 11 February – The Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes and St Pope Gregory II (669-731)

“I am the Immaculate Conception.”

Our Lady of Lourdes to St Bernadette
25 March 1858i am the immaculate conception our lady of lourdes 11 feb 2020

St Pope Gregory II “Defender of Icons”

Here is an excerpt of one of his letters to the Emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire, Leo III the Isaurian, who became an iconoclast and issued an imperial decree forbidding the use of sacred images:

“The pious Emperors were submissive to the Pontiffs of the Church and never dishonoured them. You, on the contrary, since the day when you apostatised from the Faith, incurring the same curse that [in previous letters] you made against those who persecute sacred ministers and condemning yourself by your own decree, you have separated yourself from the Holy Ghost and you do persecute and tyrannise us, by the hands of your soldiers and earthly weapons. We do not have weapons or armies but we invoke the King of the whole Universe, Christ, Who is seated in Heaven over all the celestial powers and armies, to deliver you to Satan, as the Apostle says, in the flesh and the spirit.

We are travelling to the far East to assist those who are asking for Baptism. I had already sent Bishops and priests from my Church to them. The Princes of those places have not yet been washed in the waters of the Baptism and they have chosen me as Godfather. So, we need to be on our way, fearful lest one day God will ask an account for our negligence.

I pray God to give you prudence and repentance so that you will return to the truth that you left and bring the people to the bosom of the Catholic Church.”

St Pope Gregory II I pray god to give you prudence - st pope gregory II 11 feb 2020


One Minute Reflection – 11 February – …’He is seated upon an extremely valuable throne…’

One Minute Reflection – 11 February – Tuesday of the Fifth week in Ordinary Time, Year A, Readings: 1 Kings 8:22-23, 27-30, Psalm 84:3-5, 10-11, Mark 7:1-13 and the Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes

“This people honours me with their lips but their hearts are far from me” … Mark 7:6mark 7 6 this people honours me with their lips but their hearts are far from me 11 feb 2020

REFLECTION – “Well, let us imagine that within us is an extremely rich palace, built entirely of gold and precious stones, in sum, built for a lord such as this.   Imagine, too, as is indeed so, that you have a part to play, in order for the palace to be so beautiful, for there is no edifice as beautiful as is a soul pure and full of virtues.   The greater the virtues the more resplendent the jewels.
Imagine, also, that in this palace dwells this mighty King who has been gracious enough to become your Father and, that He is seated upon an extremely valuable throne, which is your heart. (…)

You will laugh at me, perhaps and say that what I’m explaining is very clear and you’ll be right, for me, though, it was obscure for some time.   I understood well that I had a soul. But what this soul deserved and who dwelt within it I did not understand because I had covered my eyes with the vanities of the world.   For, in my opinion, if I had understood as I do now, that, in this little palace of my soul dwelt so great a King, I would not have left Him alone so often.   I would have remained with Him at times and striven more so as not to be so unclean.
But what a marvellous thing, that He who would fill a thousand worlds and many more with His grandeur, would enclose Himself in something so small!” … St Teresa of Avila (1515-1582) Doctor of the Church – The Way of Perfection, ch. 28, 9-11imagine also that in this palace dwells this mighty king - st teresa of avila 11 feb 2020

PRAYER – Grant us, O merciful God, protection in our weakness, that we, who keep the Memorial of the Immaculate Mother of God, may, with the help of her intercession, rise up from our iniquities.   Grant, we pray that our lives may be gifts to all those who cry out in pain.   Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, One God, forever and ever, amen.ou-lady-of-lourdes-pray-for-us-11-feb-2019 and 2020

Posted in Hail MARY!, MARIAN PRAYERS, Our MORNING Offering

Our Morning Offering – 11 February – Ave Maria, Amen

Our Morning Offering – 11 February – Tuesday of the Fifth week in Ordinary Time, Year A and the Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes

Ave Maria, Amen
Traditional Catholic Hymn/Poem
Unknown Author

A song ascends from vale to heights,
from town to town a hundred times,
Ave Maria, Amen.

In every place the earth around,
at every bells resound,
Ave Maria, Amen.

All creatures, be they low or high,
send joyous songs up to the sky,
Ave Maria, Amen.

Stars near each other in their rays
and greet each other on their ways,
Ave Maria, Amen.

The angels at the throne of God
with harps and flutes the Highest land,
Ave Maria, Amen.

And all the blest in paradise
to joyous, happy praise give rise,
Ave Maria, Amen.

Thus praises sound through space and time
in everlasting, glorious rhyme,
Ave Maria, Amenave-maria-amen-trad-catholic-hymn-poem-26-oct-2019

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 11 February – Saint Pope Gregory II (669-731) “Defender of Icons”

Saint of the Day – 11 February – Saint Pope Gregory II (669-731) “Defender of Icons” – Papacy began 19 May 715 – Papacy ended 11 February 731 the day of his death of natural causes.   Pope Gregory was a man of immense intellect and used his talents in negotiating peace in times of war and fought for the truth of the faith against heresies.  He was a miracle-worker who placed all his trust in God ‘s Divine pope gregory II (1)

Gregory was born to noble parents, Marcellus and Honesta, around 669.   As a very young man, he was brought to the papal court.   During the reign of Pope Sergius I (687-701), he served as Subdeacon and paymaster/almoner.   Later, he became a Deacon and was placed in charge of the Vatican library.   By the time of Pope Constantine, Gregory was noted for his superior intelligence.   He became Papal Secretary and was the main negotiator in Constantinople for the pope regarding the Quinsext Council documents.

Pope Constantine died on 9 April 715.   Gregory was quickly elected and consecrated on the 19 May.   He immediately began the repair of the city walls, requested by Pope Sisinnius several years before.   As the repairs were underway, storms and major flooding of the Tiber damaged much in the city in October 716.   Gregory ordered litanies to be said for the protection of Rome.   The waters stopped at the foot of the Capitoline Hill.167_ st GregoryII_Floreentine

Right away, Gregory had to, once again, defend orthodoxy against Monothelitism, the teaching that Christ had only one nature.   Finally, in 716, Theodo, Duke of Bavaria, met with Gregory to discuss the continuing Christian conversions.   Gregory sent delegates to Bavaria with instructions.   His continuing interest in this country led him to consecrate St Corbinian Bishop of Freising.

Two years after meeting Theodo, Gregory met with Winfred, the Anglo-Saxon missionary.   He changed the priest’s name to Boniface and commissioned him to preach in Germany.   Over the years, letters of interest and congratulations were exchanged between the two.   By 726, they were discussing new churches being built.89-St.Pope Gregory_II

Gregory supported the Benedictine Monks and helped restore Monte Cassino, which had been severely damaged by the Lombards in 584.   The Lombards were still difficult to deal with.   In 717, the Duchy of Benevento captured a key spot cutting Rome off from Naples.   Gregory had to fund Duke John I of Naples to retake the town.   When the Lombard Duke Faroald II of Spoleto captured the port of Ravenna, Gregory brokered a deal to get it returned.   The Lombards continued to take Italian territory in bits.   He tried to mobilise Charles Martel, the Frank ruler but he had no success.   When the iconoclast decrees of the Byzantine emperor occurred in 727, fighting began between the Byzantine forces and the Lombards.   Gregory brokered a deal between King Liutprand and the Exarch of Ravenna.   In 729, Gregory and Liutprand met and reached a truce, referred to as the Sutri agreement.   The towns of Sutri and the hill towns in Latium were given to the Papacy.   This was the beginning of the Papal States.

The iconoclast controversy began round 726, when the new emperor, Leo III, demanded that all images of saints be destroyed.   He insisted that they cease being venerated.   His followers argued a prohibition against venerating images found in the Old Testament.   It could lead to idolatry, was the argument.   Gregory argued for a symbolic veneration, in much the same way that we are reminded of our loved ones through photographs, nowadays.   Gregory persevered in his faith, standing against the Byzantine emperor.   He made it a point to counsel the people to be submissive to the authority put over them, however, not to the point of denying their faith.   The pope wrote to Emperor Leo III, saying, “I pray God to give you prudence and repentance so that you will return to the truth that you left and bring the people to the bosom of the Catholic Church.” This became one of the largest arguments between Rome and Constantinople, leading, a few centuries later, to a split between the two which has never Pope_Gregory_II (2)

One of Pope Gregory’s miracles concerns the victory over Muslim forces at the Battle of Toulouse.   According to the Liber Pontificalis, in 720 Pope Gregory sent to Odo, Duke of Aquitaine, “three blessed sponges/baskets of bread”.   The Duke kept these and just before the battle outside of Toulouse, he distributed small portions of these to be eaten by his troops.   After the battle, it was reported that no-one who had eaten a part of the bread had been killed or wounded.

Pope Gregory died on 11 February 731 after an exhausting 16 year reign.   He is considered a saint in the Church, though never formally Canonised (pre-congregation).


Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, 28th World Day of the Sick +2020 and Memorials of the Saints – 11 February

Our Lady of Lourdes (11 February and 16 July of 1858) – (Optional Memorial)
Our Lady of Lourdes:

28th World Day of the Sick +2020
and the 7th Anniversary of the Resignation of Pope Benedict XVI (his health was the major cause of his resignation)

St Ampelius of Africa
St Ardanus of Tournus
Bl Bartholomew of Olmedo
St Caedmon (Died c 680)
Biography of St Caedmon:

St Calocerus of Ravenna
St Castrensis of Capua
St Dativus the Senator
Bl Elizabeth Salviati
St Etchen of Clonfad
St Eutropius of Adrianopolis
St Felix the Senator
St Gobnata
St Pope Gregory II (669-731)
Bl Gaudencia Benavides Herrero
St Helwisa
St Jonas of Muchon
St Lucius of Adrianople
St Pope Paschal I
St Pedro de Jesús Maldonado-Lucero
St Saturninus of Africa
St Secundus of Puglia
St Severinus of Agaunum
St Soter of Rome
St Theodora the Empress
Bl Tobias Francisco Borrás Román

Guardians of the Holy Scriptures:   Also known as –
• Anonymous Martyrs in Africa
• Martyrs of Africa
• Martyrs of Numidia
• Martyrs of the Holy Books
A large number of Christians tortured and murdered in Numidia (part of modern Algeria) during the persecutions of Diocletian, but whose names and individual stories have not survived.   They were ordered to surrender their sacred books to be burned. They refused. Martyrs. c 303 in Numidia.

Martyrs of Africa – 5 saints:   A group of five Christians who were martyred together; we know nothing else but the names of four of them – Cyriacus, Oecominius, Peleonicus and Zoticus.