The Assumption of Mary into Heaven
Moments with Saint Pope John XXIII (1881-1963)
“The queenly figure of Mary is illuminated and glorified in the highest dignity which a creature may attain.
What grace, sweetness and solemnity in the scene of Mary’s “falling asleep,” as the Christians of the East imagine it!
She is lying in the serene sleep of death, Jesus stands beside her and clasps her soul, as if it were a tiny child, to His Heart, to indicate the miracle of her immediate resurrection and glorification.
The Christians of the West, raising their eyes and hearts to heaven, choose to portray Mary borne body and soul to the eternal Kingdom.
The greatest artist saw her thus, incomparable in her divine beauty.
Oh let us too go with her, borne aloft by her escort of angels!
This is the source of consolation and faith, in days of grief or pain, for those privileged souls – such as we can all become, if only we respond to grace – whom God is silently preparing for the most beautiful victory of all, the attainment of holiness.
The mystery of the Assumption, brings home to us the thought of death, of our own death and gives us a sense of serene confidence; it makes us understand and welcome the thought, that the Lord will be, as we wish Him to be, near us in our last agony, to gather into His own Hands, our immortal soul.
“May your grace be always with us, Immaculate Virgin.”
Thought for the Day – 28 May – “Mary’s Month” – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Living the Gospel
“The doctrine of the Gospel is so sublime that no generation has yet been able to practice it fully.
Only the Blessed Virgin and the Saints have approached the peak of perfection indicated by Christ. “You are to be perfect, even as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Mt 5:48).
How far have we advanced?
We are not expected, obviously, to achieve the absolute perfection of our heavenly Father.
But, we are obliged to strive towards it with the help of the grace of God.
It maybe that our particular circumstances excuse us from fulfilling the evangelical counsels but, we have no option but to obey the precepts of the Gospel.
We are under no obligation to sell all our possessions and give the money to the poor but, it is too bad for us if our hearts are not detached from earthly things and in contact with God.
We must be prepared to face the consequences, if we do not observe the precepts of justice and charity towards God and our neighbour.
We are especially obliged to help those who are in need of any kind, with whatever we have to spare in the way of material assistance or advice.
It is our own misfortune, too, if we do not mortify ourselves, accept the will of God, even in suffering and, empty our hearts of worldly attachments, in order to fill them with spiritual preoccupations.
Let us remember, that we belong to God!
All our thoughts and desires should, therefore, be directed towards God alone!
Most Holy Mary, you sought always to reflect in your own soul, the beauty and sanctity of your divine Son, by obeying His teaching in a heroic manner.
Obtain for me, the grace, to be detached from worldly affairs, especially from sin.”
One Minute Reflection – 28 May – “Mary’s Month” – Thursday of the Seventh Week of Easter, Readings: Acts 22:30; 23:6-11, Psalm 16:1-2, 5, 7-11, John 17:20-26 and The Memorial of Blessed Lanfranc of Canterbury (c 1005-1089)
“And I have given them the glory you gave me …” … John 17:22
REFLECTION – “… Through our unremitting zeal for you, Lord, set upon us the sign of Your day that is not measured by the sun. … In Your sacrament we daily embrace You and receive You into our bodies; make us worthy to experience the resurrection for which we hope. We have had Your treasure hidden within us, ever since we received baptismal grace, it grows ever richer at Your sacramental table. Teach us to find our joy in Your favour! Lord, we have within us Your memorial, received at Your spiritual table; let us possess it in its full reality when all things shall be made new.
We glimpse the beauty that is laid up for us, when we gaze upon the spiritual beauty Your immortal will, now creates within our mortal selves. Saviour, Your Crucifixion marked the end of Your mortal life; teach us to crucify ourselves and make way for our life in the Spirit. May Your Resurrection, Jesus, bring true greatness to our spiritual self and may Your sacraments be the mirror, wherein we may know that self. Saviour, Your divine plan for the world is a mirror for the spiritual world – teach us to walk in that world as spiritual men.
Lord, do not deprive our souls, of the spiritual vision of You, nor our bodies of Your warmth and sweetness. The mortality lurking in our bodies spreads corruption through us; may the spiritual waters of Your love cleanse the effects of mortality from our hearts. Grant, Lord, that we may hasten to our true city and, like Moses on the mountaintop, possess it now in vision.” … St Ephrem (306-373) Father and Doctor of the Church – (Sermo 3, De fine et admonitione 2. 4-5)
PRAYER – God of mercy, You have filled us with the hope of resurrection by restoring man to his original dignity. May we who relive this mystery each year come to share it in perpetual love. May the Mother of Our Lord stand with us as we gaze upward to her Son and may the prayer of Bl Lanfranc, be a support in our troubles. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.
Our Morning Offering – 28 May – “Mary’s Month” – Thursday of the Seventh Week of Easter and The Memorial of St Germanus (c 490-576)
Most Holy Virgin, My Consolation By St Germanus (c 490-576)
Most Holy Virgin!
Who are the greatest consolation
that I receive from God,
you who art the heavenly dew
which assuages all my pains,
you who are the light of my soul
when it is enveloped in darkness,
you who are my guide in unknown paths,
the support of my weakness,
my treasure in poverty,
my remedy in sickness,
my consolation in trouble,
my refuge in misery,
and the hope of my salvation,
hear my supplications,
have pity on me,
as becomes the Mother of so good a God
and obtain for me a favourable reception
of all my petitions at the throne of mercy.
Saint of the Day – 28 May 2020 – Blessed Lanfranc of Canterbury OSB (c 1005-1089) Archbishop of Canterbury, Benedictine Abbot, celebrated Jurist, Scholar, Professor, spiritual writer, Reformer, negotiator – born in c 1005 in Pavia, Italy and died on 24 May 1089 in Canterbury, England of natural causes. He is also variously known as Lanfranc of Pavia,Lanfranc of Bec and Lanfranc of Canterbury. He renounced his career as a very well-known and celebrated jurist, to become a Benedictine monk at Bec in Normandy. He served successively as prior of Bec Abbey and abbot of St Stephen in Normandy and then as Archbishop of Canterbury in England, following its Conquest by William the Conqueror.
Lanfranc was born in the early years of the 11th century at Pavia, where later tradition held that his father, Hanbald, held a rank broadly equivalent to magistrate. He was orphaned at an early age.
He was trained in the liberal arts, at that time a field in which northern Italy was famous. For unknown reasons at an uncertain date, he crossed the Alps, soon taking up the role of teacher in France and eventually in Normandy. About 1039 he became the Master of the Cathedral school at Avranches, where he taught for three years with conspicuous success. But in 1042 he embraced the Monastic life in the newly founded Bec Abbey. Until 1045 he lived at Bec in absolute seclusion.
Lanfranc was then persuaded by Abbot Herluin to open a school at Bec to relieve the Monastery’s poverty. From the first he was celebrated. His pupils were drawn, not only from France and Normandy but also from Gascony, Flanders, Germany and Italy. Many of them afterwards attained high positions in the Church, one student, Anselm of Badagio, became Pope under the title of Alexander II, another, St Anselm of Canterbury (Doctor of the Church) succeeded Lanfranc as the Archbishop of Canterbury.
As a result of his growing reputation, Lanfranc was invited to defend the Doctrine of Transubstantiation against the attacks of Berengar of Tours. He took up the task with the greatest zeal, although Berengar had been his personal friend. He was the protagonist of orthodoxy at the Church Councils of Vercelli (1050), Tours (1054) and Rome (1059). Our knowledge of Lanfranc’s polemics is chiefly derived from the tract De corpore et sanguine Domini, probably written c 1060-63. His work was regarded as conclusive and became for a while a text-book in the schools. It is often said to be the place where the Aristotelian distinction between substance and accident was first applied, to explain Eucharistic change. It is the most important of his surviving works.
When the see of Rouen next fell vacant (1067), the thoughts of the electors turned to Lanfranc. But he declined the honour and he was nominated to the English Primacy as Archbishop of Canterbury. He was speedily Consecrated on 29 August 1070. The new Archbishop at once began a policy of reorganisation and reform.
By long tradition the primate was entitled to a leading position in the king’s councils and the interests of the Church demanded, that Lanfranc should use his power in a manner not displeasing to the king. On several occasions when William I was absent from England Lanfranc acted as his vicegerent.
On the death of the Conqueror in 1087, Lanfranc secured the succession for William Rufus, in spite of the discontent of the Anglo-Norman baronage and, in 1088, his exhortations induced the English militia to fight on the side of the new sovereign against Odo of Bayeux and the other partisans of Duke Robert. He exacted promises of just government from Rufus and was not afraid to remonstrate, when the promises were disregarded. So long as he lived he was a check upon the worst propensities of the king’s administration. But his restraining hand was too soon removed. In 1089 he was stricken with fever and he died on 24 May amidst universal lamentations.
The efforts of Christ Church Canterbury to secure him the status of saint seem to have had only spasmodic and limited effect beyond English Benedictine circles. However, in the period after the Council of Trent, Lanfranc’s name was included in the Roman Martyrology and in the current edition, maintains the rank of beatus, the feast day being celebrated on 28 May. His tomb rests in Canterbury Cathedral.
Bl Heliconis of Thessalonica
St Helladius of Rome
St Herculaneum of Piegaro
Bl John Shert
St Justus of Urgell Blessed Lanfranc OSB (c 1005-1089)
St Luciano of Cagliari
Bl Margaret Plantagenet Pole Blessed Maria Bartolomea Bagnesi OP (1514-1577) Her lifestory: https://anastpaul.com/2017/05/28/saint-of-the-day-28-may-blessed-maria-bartholomew-bagnesi-t-o-s-d/
Bl Mary of the Nativity
St Moel-Odhran of Iona
St Paulus of Rome
St Phaolô Hanh
St Podius of Florence
Bl Robert Johnson
St Senator of Milan
Bl Thomas Ford
St Ubaldesca Taccini
St William of Gellone
Bl Wladyslaw Demski
Martyrs of Palestine: A group of early 5th century monks in Palestine who were martyred by invading Arabs.
Martyrs of Sardinia – 6 saints: A group of early Christians for whom a church on Sardinia is dedicated; they were probably martyrs, but no information about them has survived except the names Aemilian, Aemilius, Emilius, Felix, Lucian and Priamus. Patrons of the diocese of Alghero-Bosa, Italy.
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War: Blessed Luís Berenguer Moratona