Behold Your Mother
Moments with Saint Pope John XXIII (1881-1963)
“Shortly before His death, Jesus, seeing His Mother with the beloved disciple by her side, said to Mary, indicating John: “Behold your son.”
Then He said to His disciple: “Behold our Mother.”
As if enraptured by the infinite generosity of God, St Robert Bellarmine asserts, that whoever draws near to the most high God with a frank and open heart may obtain grace and salvation. In fact, Jesus, who wanted us to be co-heirs with Himself of His Father’s Kingdom, invites us too, to share in the kindness of His perfect Mother and, she herself loves to carry on her work of mercy and solicitude for all who are working their way to their home with her Son.
“Let us then,” says Bellarmine, “hasten with confidence to Christ’s throne of grace and with prayers and profound contrition, let us beg Him to repeat for everyone of us, the words He said His Mother: “Behold your son.” In the same way, as He looks at Mary, may He repeat to everyone of us, the wonderful invitation: “Behold your Mother.”
In short, here we find our true relationship, already established on earth, with Jesus our Redeemer and our brother and our relationship with Mary, the Mother of Jesus and of all who belong to the to those He has wished to redeem.
It is, therefore, a glory of Catholic worship and of the Christian Doctrine, which always presents the Lord Jesus to us with His Mother by His side.
How eternally happy are those faithful, who invoke the heavenly Queen by the sweet name of Mother and faithfully follow her counsel, her inspiration and her example!”
Thought for the Day – 13 May – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Mary, Our Hope
In the beautiful prayer, known as the Salve Regina or Hail, Holy Queen, the Church salutes Mary as “our life, our sweetness and our hope.”
Mary is our hope, because, she gave us our Saviour, Jesus and, because, she prays to Him continually for the graces which we need.
Following the example of Luther, modern Protestants raise the objection that Mary cannot be regarded as a source of hope, because, all our trust should be placed in God.
Anyone who places his trust in creatures, draws down God’s curse upon himself, they say and, they go on to quote from Jeremiah: “Cursed be the man that trusteth in man” (Jer 17:5).
But this is true only, when we trust in creatures independently of God, as if we can derive any good from them, without recourse to God.
We invoke Mary, however, as the Mother of God and our mediatrix with Him.
She is our hope, insofar as she obtains for us from God, the graces and favours which we require.
St Bernard assures us, that God has placed in Mary’s hands, all the riches which He wishes to bestow on us (Serm de aquaed). “He will never experience eternal ruin,” says St Anselm, “for whom Mary has once prayed.”
St Bernard calls upon Mary as the foundation of all his hope (Ibid).
Let us remember, that Mary is our loving Mother who wishes us to pray to her, because, she knows that if she intercedes on our behalf, she will certainly be heard.
It should be most consoling to us to have such a good and powerful Mother in whom, we can safely trust in every peril and in every necessity.
Let us pray to her with love and faith, in the certainty that, we shall be answered in the way that is best for us.
Let us say along with St John Damascene: “O Mother of God, if I place my trust in you, I shall be saved. If I am under your protection, I have nothing to fear, because to be devoted to you, is to possess a weapon of salvation which God grants only to those, whom He desires to redeem” (Serm de Nat, cap 4).
Quote/s of the Day – 13 May – “Mary’s Month” The Memorial of Our Lady of Fatima
“Look, my Daughter,” Our Lady said to Lúcia on 10 December 1925, “at my heart, surrounded with thorns, with which ungrateful men pierce me. “
Our Lady assured Lúcia: “My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God.” Thus, if we devote ourselves to her Immaculate Heart, Mary will lead us to her Son, Jesus Christ and we will be on the way to Heaven.
One Minute Reflection – 14 May – “Mary’s Month” – Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Easter, Readings: Acts 15:1-6, Psalm 122:1-5, John 15:1-8 and the Memorial of Our Lady of Fatima and St André-Hubert Fournet (1752-1834)
“Without me you can do nothing” … John 15:5
REFLECTION – “Holiness begins from Christ and Christ is its cause. For no act, conducive to salvation, can be performed unless it proceeds from Him as from its supernatural source. “Without me,” He says, “you can do nothing.”(Jn 15:5). If we grieve and do penance for our sins if, with filial fear and hope, we turn again to God, it is because He is leading us. Grace and glory flow from His inexhaustible fullness…
When the Sacraments of the Church are administered by external rite, it is He who produces their effect in souls. He nourishes the redeemed with His own flesh and blood and thus calms the turbulent passions of the soul; He gives increase of grace and prepares future glory for souls and bodies.
Christ our Lord wills the Church to live His own supernatural life and by His divine power permeates His whole Body and nourishes and sustains each of the members, according to the place which they occupy in the body, in the same way as the vine, nourishes and makes fruitful the branches, which are joined to it. (cf. Jn 15:4-6).” … Venerable Pius XII (1976-1958) Papacy 1939 to 1958 – Encyclical “Mystici Corporis”
PRAYER – Holy God and Father, help us to discern through prayer and meditation what You truly want of us. Then enable us to offer it to You and indeed, to offer ourselves and all we have and all we are, to You. When You bring us sufferings to mould us closer and make us more like You, help us to accept them and offer them back to You. Following Your divine Son, let us pick up those crosses in peace and love. Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us! St André-Hubert Fournet, pray for us. Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God now and forever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 13 May – “Mary’s Month” and the 103rd Anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima – Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Easter
Official Prayer of Consecration To Our Lady of Fatima (Issued for the Jubilee in 2017)
Our lady of Fatima Hail,
Mother of the Lord,
Queen of the Rosary of Fatima!
Blessed among all women,
you are the image of the Church dressed in the Paschal light,
you are the honour of our people,
you are the triumph over the mark of evil.
Prophecy of the merciful Love of the Father,
Teacher of the Annunciation of the Good News of the Son,
Sign of the burning Fire of the Holy Spirit,
teach us, in this vale of joys and sorrows,
the eternal truths that the Father reveals to the little ones.
Show us the strength of your mantle of protection.
In your Immaculate Heart,
be the refuge of sinners
and the way that leads to God.
In Faith, Hope and Love,
I surrender myself to you.
Through you, I consecrate myself to God,
O Virgin of the Rosary of Fatima.
And thus surrounded by the Light that comes from your hands,
I will give Glory to the Lord, forever and ever.
Saint of the Day – 13 May – Saint André-Hubert Fournet (1752-1834) Priest and Co-Founder with St Jeanne-Élisabeth Bichier des Ages of the Congregation of the Daughters of the Cross, Apostle of the poor, needy, children and the aged. He is known as “the Good Father.”Born on 6 December 1752 at Maille, France and died on 13 May 1834 at La Puye, Vienne, France of natural causes. Patronage – the Daughters of the Cross.
André-Hubert Fournet was born on 6 December 1752 in Vienne to Pierre Fournet and Florence Chasseloup. He was the 9th of a family of 10 children . He grew up surrounded by the love of his parents and siblings. He was a carefree child, laughing, exuberant, he preferred play to work. As a pupil at the Châtellerault Secondary School, he was loved by all his classmates for his joyful drive and frankness. André-Hubert’s first teacher, his mother, was surprised by her child’s exuberance but she also knew his heart and his great tenderness. “One day, my good André, you will be a priest. You will go up to the altar and pray for your mother.” His mother planted the idea and then she left all the space to God. God did not seem in a hurry… nor did André-Hubert, who wrote on the first page of one of his books: “This book belongs to André-Hubert, a good boy, who will never be a monk or a priest.”God works His plan in His own time…
After his classical studies, he studied law for just a year. But his studies didn’t go well and so without consulting anyone, he joined the army. One day, in his military uniform, he went to his uncle’s house, the priest of Saint-Pierre de Maillé. His uncle received him coldly with the words: “Your visit is at the wrong address! I don’t have a nephew in the military service.” However, there was a door which was always open to him, that of his mother’s heart. Madame Fournet directed her son to one of his uncles, a priest in Haims, in the Vienne region. This uncle was reserved, austere, meditative. Haims is a harsh, isolated and lonely area of the countryside. In this solitary environment, André-Hubert reflected and prayed. The fruits of this period of quiet and peaceful reflection led him at 22, to enter the Seminary and become a Priest.
In 1776 he was Ordained to the Priesthood and was then sent to his own hometown, (succeeding his uncle) to become the Parish Pries to the great happiness of his mother who had her wish fulfilled.
One day, whilst awaiting some friends for lunch he prepared a table filled with food for them. Then, there was the sound of footsteps and he happily wents to open for his guests, only to find a beggar asking for alms. “I have no money…” “What! No money…” replied the poor man. “Your table is covered with it!” The beggar’s words were for André-Hubert, the Words of Jesus Christ. He cried for a long time, prostrated on the flagstones of the church. Through the beggar’s words, Jesus Christ entered his heart and completely took possession of it. The passionate and generous, André-Hubert, had the courage to change his whole life.
The French Revolution saw him refuse to take the oath and he continued his now illegal pastoral mission in secret. On 6 April 1792 – on Good Friday – he was arrested for his activities. He declined being taken to jail in a carriage and said since Jesus Christ carried His cross it, behoved His followers to travel on foot. He would escape and at one point assumed the place of a dead person on a bier. But confident in Divine Providence, he decided to leave, taking the path of exile to Spain. Spain welcomed the French priest, the fugitive. From 1792 to 1797, André-Hubert took refuge in Los Arcos, a small town in Navarre.
But he misses his abandoned parishioners of Saint-Pierre de Maillé He heard their voices. So, he decided to return to France, alone. In France, calm had not yet returned. Refractory priests were still in danger. These were very difficult times. It was still the era of catacombs! But our Pastor is brave. As a precaution, Fr André-Hubert celebrated the Eucharist clandestinely, sometimes in one place, sometimes in another.
In 1798 he met St Jeanne-Elisabeth Bichier des Ages, who had approached him for spiritual guidance. Their first meeting was decisive. Elisabeth became his collaborator in the founding of the Congregation of the Daughters of the Cross. In the aftermath of the Revolution, Fr André wanted to educate children, the aged and care for the sick. He entrusted this mission to Elisabeth, the young lady he met at Les Marsyllis. Around Elisabeth, a small community was born. Fr André-Hubert became the Spiritual and Apostolic leader of this new family.
In 1801 as better days dawn, Fr André-Hubert returned to Maillé and in 1802, re-established himself in his rectory. His parish was his family. In all their homes, he is called “the Good Father.” He knew all his parishioners. He loved them and is loved by them.
After 40 years of parish ministry, Good Father André retired and left Maillé to dedicate himself in his ageing years to the Congregation of the Sisters of the Cross, which had moved to in a former convent of the Fontevristes in La Puye. Here, he interceded for many miracles – on more than one occasion, he multiplied the food for the members of the new congregation.
Until his old age, the Good Father kept an expression of simplicity and humility. In the sun of God’s love, the transfiguration of his being continued in deep holiness, charity, humility and zeal.
On 13 May 1834, aged 81, Fr André-Hubert opened his eyes to the sun without decline.
After the approval of 2 miracles, he was Beatified on 16 May 1926 by Pope Pius XI and Canonised on June 1933 by the same Pope, after a further 2 miracles.
Our Lady of Succour of Sicily: Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary under this title began in Palermo, Sicily in the 14th century and has since spread throughout the Augustinians. It began when Father Nicola Bruno, who suffered from severe and long-term pains in his side, prayed to Our Lady for healing while meditating on a painting of Mary in which she used a stick or club to chase away the dragon and protect the infant Jesus, the artist was making reference to passages in Genesis and Revelations that referred to the eternal enmity between The Woman and the serpent. That night, Father Nicola received a vision of Mary and was healed. The painting received the title “Our Lady of Help” and the devotion began. Since 1804 the celebration has had its own liturgy.
Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament: St Peter Julian Eymard (1811-1868) and Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament.
The title of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament was first given to Mary by St Peter Julian Eymard in May 1868, while speaking to his novices. A few years later he described what her statue should look like: “The Blessed Virgin holds the Infant in her arms and He holds a chalice in one hand and a Host in the other.” He exhorted them to invoke Mary: “Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament, pray for us who have recourse to thee!”
St Lucius of Constantinople
St Mael of Bardsey
Bl Magdalen Albrizzi
St Merewenna of Rumsey
St Mucius of Byzantium
St Natalis of Milan
St Onesimus of Soissons
St Servatus of Tongres
St Valerian of Auxerre
Martyrs of Alexandria: A group of Catholic Christians martyred in the church of Theonas, Alexandria, Egypt by order of the Arian Emperor Valens. Their names have not come down to us. 372 in Alexandria, Egypt.