Mother of Good Counsel
By St Pope John XXIII (1881-1963)
O Mary, your name has been on my lips and in my heart, from my early infancy.
When I was a child, I learnt to love you as a Mother, turn to you in danger and trust to your intercession.
You see in my heart, the desire to know the truth, to practise virtue, to be prudent and just, strong and patient, a brother to all.
O Mary, help me to keep my purpose of living as a faithful disciple of Jesus, for the building up of Christian society and the joy of the Holy Catholic Church.
I greet you, Mother, morning and evening;
I pray to you as I go upon my way;
from you, I hope for the inspiration and encouragement, that will enable me to fulfil the sacred promises of my earthly vocation, give glory to God and win eternal salvation.
Like you in Bethlehem and on Golgotha, I too wish to stay always close to Jesus.
He is the eternal King of all ages and all peoples.
Thought for the Day – 2 May – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Intercession of Our Lady
“Mary’s intercession is very powerful with God. St Bernard tells us that it is the will of God, that everything comes to us through her holy hands (Sermo in Nativ BMV no 7). He assures us, that Mary is the Mediatrix through whom we receive all favours from God (In Assump. BMV sermo 2, no 2). Her power of intercession is the result of her divine and human motherhood. Because she is the Mother of God, Jesus refuses her nothing; because she is our mother, she loves us dearly and is eager to obtain from God, the spiritual favours, for which we ask. For this reason, we should approach her with complete confidence. St Bernard also writes: “If anyone feels that he is overwhelmed by the tempests of this world and cannot keep an even course, let him raise his eyes towards Mary, let him remember Mary and call upon her…. In danger and in doubt, let him remember and call upon her. Let the thought of Mary never leave his mind; let her name never be far from his lips and from his heart …” (Super Miss. Homil 2, no 17). In all our necessities, we should have confident recourse to our heavenly Mother. Let us remember, however, that if we wish to be true sons of Mary and to be sure of being heard by her, we should ask especially, for spiritual graces. Afterwards, we can ask, with equal confidence but, with resignation to God’s will, for temporal favours, provided that they will not stand in the way of our eternal salvation.”
Quote/s of the Day – 2 May – Saturday of the Third Week of Easter and the Memorial of St Athanasius (c 295-373) Father and Doctor of the Church “The Father of Orthodoxy”
“In ancient times, before the divine sojourn of the Saviour took place, even to the saints, death was terrible, all wept for the dead as though they perished. But now, that the Saviour has raised His body, death is no longer terrible, for all who believe in Christ, trample on it, as it were nothing and choose rather to die, than deny their faith in Christ. And that devil, that once maliciously exulted in death, now that its pains were loosed, remained the only one truly dead.”
“In death, the Word made a spotless sacrifice and oblation of the body He had taken. By dying for others, He immediately banished death for all mankind.”
On the Incarnation
“But what is also to the point, let us note that the very tradition, teaching and faith of the Catholic Church from the beginning was preached by the Apostles and preserved by the Fathers. On this the Church was founded – and if anyone departs from this, he neither is, nor any longer ought to be called, a Christian.”
“Christians, instead of arming themselves with swords, extend their hands in prayer.”
One Minute Reflection – 2 May – “Mary’s Month” – Saturday of the Third Week of Easter, Readings: Acts 9:31-42, Psalm 116:12-17, John 6:60-69
“You have the words of eternal life” …. John 6:68
REFLECTION: – “To whom shall we go?” Peter asks. In other words: “Who else will instruct us in the divine mysteries the way you do?” or, “To whom shall we go to find anything better? You have the words of eternal life.” They are not hard words, as those other disciples say but words, that will bring us to the loftiest goal unceasing, endless life removed from all corruption. These words surely make quite obvious to us the necessity for sitting at the feet of Christ, taking Him as our one and only teacher and giving Him our constant and undivided attention. …
That the desire to follow Christ alone and to be with Him always, is a good thing leading to our salvation, is entirely self-evident, yet we may learn this from the Old Testament as well. When the Israelites had shaken off Egyptian tyranny and were hastening toward the promised land, God did not allow them to make disorderly marches, nor did the Lawgiver let each one go where he would, for without a guide they should undoubtedly have lost the way completely. … Keeping with their guide was the Israelites’ salvation then, just as not leaving Christ is ours now. For He was with those people of old under the form of the tabernacle, the cloud and the fire (Ex 13:21; 26:1f) …
“Whoever serves me must follow me, so as to be with me wherever I am” (Jn 12:26) … But accompanying the Saviour Christ and following Him is by no means to be thought of as something done by the body. It is accomplished rather by deeds springing from virtue. Upon such virtue the wisest disciples firmly fixed their minds…. With good reason they cried out, “Where can we go?” It was as though they said: We will stay with You always and hold fast to Your commandments. We will receive Your words without finding fault, or thinking Your teaching hard, as the ignorant do but thinking rather: “How sweet are Your words to my throat! Sweeter to the mouth are they, than honey or the honeycomb!” (Ps 118:103).” … St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) – Father and Doctor of the Church – Commentary on Saint John’s Gospel, 4, 4
PRAYER – Mould our minds and our hearts, we pray You Lord, by the union of Your Son and His Church. As we belong to You, You joined us to Your Son to become one with Him. May we always strive to live up to this union and may we make our lives, a constant sharing, in Christ’s death and Resurrection. May His Mother give us her heart, to love Him as she does. We make our prayer through Him and in Him and with Him, in the union of the Holy Spirit, God for always and forever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 2 May – “Mary’s Month” – Saturday of the Third Week of Easter, the Memorial of St Athanasius (c 295-373) – Father and Doctor of the Church, “The Father of Orthodoxy”
Mary, Mother of Grace St Athanasius (297-373) Father & Doctor
It becomes you to be mindful of us,
as you stand near Him who granted you all graces,
for you are the Mother of God and our Queen.
Help us for the sake of the King,
the Lord God and Master, who was born of you.
For this reason,
you are called full of grace.
Remember us, most holy Virgin,
and bestow on us gifts
from the riches of your graces,
Virgin full of graces.
Saint of the Day – 2 May – Saint Wiborada of Saint Gallen OSB (Died 926) Virgin, Martyr Anchorite,ascetic, gifted with the charism of prophecy and miracles – also known as Guiborat, Weibrath or Viborata – born in the 9th century in Klingna, Aargau, Switzerland and died by being axed to death in 926. Her biography was written in c 1075 by Herimannus, a Monk of the Abbey of Saint Gallen. Saint Wiborada was the first woman formally Canonised by the Holy See, by Pope Clement II in 1047. Patronages – libraries, librarians.
Wiborada was born to a wealthy noble family in Swabia. When they invited the sick and poor into their home, Wiborada proved a capable nurse. Her brother, Hatto, became a Priest. A pilgrimage to Rome influenced Hatto to decide to become a Priest and Monk at the Abbey of Saint Gallen, a decision which Wiborada supported. After the death of their parents, Wiborada joined Hatto and became a Benedictine at the same Abbey. Wiborada became settled at the Monastery and Hatto taught her Latin, so that she could chant the Liturgy of the Hours. There, she occupied herself by making Hatto’s clothes and helping to bind many of the books in the Monastery library.
At this time, it appears that Wiborada was charged with some type of serious infraction or wrongdoing and was subjected to the medieval practice of ordeal by fire to prove her innocence. Although she was exonerated, the embarrassment probably influenced her next decision – withdrawing from the world and becoming an ascetic.
When she petitioned to become an Anchoress, Bishop Salomon of Konstanz arranged for her to stay in a cell next to the church of Saint George near the Monastery, where she remained for four years before relocating to a cell adjoining the church of Magnus of Füssen in 891.
She became renowned for her austerity and was said to have a gift of prophecy, both of which drew admirers and hopeful students. One of these, a woman named Rachildis, whom Wiborada had cured of a disease, joined her as an Anchoress. A young student at St Gallen, Ulrich, is said to have visited Wiborada often. She prophesied his elevation to the episcopate of Augsburg.
In 925, she predicted a Hungarian invasion of her region. Her warning allowed the Priests and Religious of St Galen and of St Magnus to hide the books and wine and escape into caves in nearby hills. The most precious manuscripts were transferred to the Monastery at Reichenau Island. Her abbot, Engilbert, urged Wiborada to escape to safety but she refused to leave her cell.
In 926 the Magyar marauders reached St Gallen. They burned down St Magnus Monastery and broke into the roof of Wiborada’s cell. Upon finding her kneeling in prayer, they clove her skull with a shepherd’s axe. Her companion Rachildis was not killed and lived another 21 years, during which her disease returned. She spent the rest of her life learning patience through suffering.
Wiborada’s refusal to leave her cell and the part she played in saving the lives of the Priests and Religious of her Convent have merited her the title of Martyr.
St Joseph Luu
Bl Juan de Verdegallo
St Longinus of Africa
St Neachtain of Cill-Uinche
St Theodulus of Pamphylia
St Ultan of Péronne
St Vindemialis of Africa
St Waldebert of Luxeuil St Wiborada of Saint Gallen OSB (Died 926) Martyr
Bl William Tirry
St Zoe of Pamphylia
Martyrs of Alexandria – 4 saints: A group of Christians marytred together in the persecutions of Diocletian. We know little more than their names – Celestine, Germanus, Neopolus and Saturninus. 304 in Alexandria, Egypt