Mary’s Visit to Her Cousin, Elizabeth
Moments with Saint Pope John XXIII (1881-1963)
“What gentleness and charm in this three months’ visit made by Mary to her beloved cousin!
Each of them is about to bear a child but, for the Virgin Mother, this is the most sacred maternity that it is possible to imagine on earth.
Their two souls mingle and respond in a sweet harmony: “Blessed are you among women” (Lk 1:42), on the one hand and, on the other, “God, my Saviour, has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden, for behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed” (Lk 1:48).
What takes place here, at Ain-Karim on the hill of Hebron, sheds a light, both very human and divine, on the relations that bind Christian families, brought up in the ancient tradition of the Holy Rosary – the Rosary recited every evening at home, in the family circle, the Rosary recited not just in or or a hundred or a thousand families but by every family, by everyone, everywhere in the world, wherever the is one of us “Suffering, fighting and praying” (A Manzoni, La Pentecost v 6) someone who has answered a call to the Priesthood or to Missionary service or to a dream which will turn out to be an apostolate, or wherever men are constrained by those legitimate, if obligatory demands of labour or trade, military service, study, teaching or any other occupation.
There is a beautiful reunion, during the ten Hail Marys of the Mystery, of so many countless souls, linked together by blood or by domestic ties, in a relationship which hallows and, thereby strengthens, the love that binds our dearest ones together – parents and children, brothers and relations, people from the same locality, people of the same race.
All this, with the purpose and intention of sustaining, increasing and irradiating that universal charity, the exercise of which, is the most profound joy and supreme honour, of our lives.”
Thought for the Day – 29 May – “Mary’s Month” – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Great Exile
“Let us turn away from this spectacle of a corrupt and corrupting world and raise our fearful gaze towards Mary.
What a contrast!
She was wholly pure and beautiful.
Her mind was always in contact with God.
Her heart was full of the love of God and of her neighbour, whose redemption from the slavery of sin, she ardently desired to achieve by co-operating with her divine Son.
All her desires and actions were in harmony with the will of God, so that she lived completely in God.
Let us think about ourselves.
What place has Jesus in our approach to life?
Let us try and think of Him more often.
Let us meditate on the eternal truths, on the commandments of God and on the precepts of the Church which He has founded.
Let us endeavour to make all our actions conform with these commandments.
Above all, let us seek to love God more and more and, let us pray constantly, for those countless souls who ignore and reject Him.
Then we shall be content in the midst of the trials of this world, for we shall have God in our hearts.”
Quote/s of the Day – 29 May – the Memorial of St Pope Paul VI (1897-1978) and Bl Rolando Maria Rivi (1931-1945) “I belong to Jesus,” Seminarian, Martyr
“Jesus Christ You have heard Him spoken of, indeed the greater part of you are already His – you are Christians. So, to you Christians I repeat His name, to everyone I proclaim Him – Jesus Christ is the beginning and the end, the Alpha and the Omega. He is the king of the new world. He is the secret of history. He is the key to our destiny.”
“Here lies the test of truth, the touchstone of evangelisation – it is unthinkable, that a person, should accept the Word and give himself to the kingdom, without becoming a person who bears witness to it and proclaims it in his turn.”
“Do you really believe what you are proclaiming? Do you live what you believe? Do you really preach what you live?”
Evangelii Nuntiandi, 1975
St Pope Paul VI (1897-1978)
“I belong to Jesus”
Bl Rolando Maria Rivi (1931-1945)
One Minute Reflection – 29 May – “Mary’s Month” – Friday of the Seventh Week of Easter, Readings: Acts 25:13-21, Psalm 103:1-2, 11-12, 19-20, John 21:15-19 and the Memorial of St Pope Paul VI (1897-1978) and Bl Rolando Maria Rivi (1931-1945) “I belong to Jesus,” Seminarian, Martyr
“Do you love me?” … John 21:17
REFLECTION – “Here I find all good shepherds in the one shepherd (Jn 10:14). Good shepherds are not lacking but they are in the one. To speak of many. implies division … If the Lord entrusted them at the time we speak of, it was because He found Peter – indeed, in Peter himself, He recommended unity. There were many apostles but to one is said: “Feed my sheep” … When He entrusted His sheep to Peter, as one to another, He wished to make him one with Himself and, so to entrust the sheep to him, as to be Himself the Head, while Peter assumed the figure of the body (Col 1:18) … What, then, does He first say to Peter, in order to entrust the sheep to him yet avoid entrusting them as if to another? “Peter, do you love me?” And he answered: “I do love you.” And again: “Do you love me?” And he answered: “I do love you.” And a third time: “Do you love me?” And he answered a third time: “I do love you” He makes sure of love so as firmly to establish unity.
Jesus, the one shepherd, feeds His sheep in these shepherds and they in the Him … It was not because of a scarcity of shepherds (as though the prophet were foretelling bad times to come) that He said: “I will feed my sheep myself” as though He had no-one to whom to entrust them. Even when Peter himself was alive and the apostles were still alive in the flesh, He, the one in whom all the shepherds are one reality, said: “I have other sheep, that are not of this fold; them also must I bring, that there may be one flock and one shepherd” (Jn 10:16). So let them all be in the one Shepherd and speak with the one Shepherd’s voice… All should Him speak with the one voice and not with different voices. “I beseech you, brethren, that you all say the same thing and there be no divisions among you” (1Cor 1:10). Let the sheep hear this voice, cleared of all division and cleansed of all heresy and let them follow their shepherd as He says: “Those who are my sheep hear my voice and follow me” (Jn 10:27).” … St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of Grace – Sermon 46, On the Shepherds, #30
PRAYER – Heavenly Father, help us to accept the tasks you have given us to do in life. Let us be faithful all our days and be able to attain Your eternal reward in heaven. May our Blessed Mother, St Paul VI and the Blessed little Rolando Rivi, who so diligently showed their love for Your Son, pray for us that we may always praise Your glory and be faithful at all times and in all circumstances, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 29 May – “Mary’s Month” – Friday of the Seventh Week of Easter and the Memorial of St Pope Paul VI (1897-1978)
Look Down Most Blessed Virgin Mother By St Pope Paul VI (1897-1978)
Look down with maternal clemency,
most Blessed Virgin, upon all your children.
Consider the anxiety of Bishops
who fear that their flocks
will be tormented by a terrible storm of evils.
Heed the anguish of so many people,
fathers and mothers of families
who are uncertain about their future
and beset by hardships and cares.
Soothe the minds of those at war
and inspire them with “thoughts of peace.”
Through your intercession,
may God, the avenger of injuries, turn to mercy.
May He give back to nations
the tranquillity they seek
and bring them to a lasting age of genuine peace and joy.
Saint of the Day – 29 May – Blessed Rolando Maria Rivi (1931-1945) “I belong to Jesus,” Seminarian, Martyr, – born on 7 January 1931 in San Valentin di Castellarano, Reggio Emilia, Italy and died on 13 April 1945- aged 14.
Blessed Rolando was noted for his studious and pious nature with an intense love for Jesus Christ which was evident through frequent Confession and the reception of the Holy Eucharist. He was amiable to all and wore his cassock with great pride to the point where he affirmed that he belonged to Christ and His Church. The Communist partisans murdered him “in odium fidei” (in hatred of the faith) towards the end of World War II in Modena, because he would become a Priest.
Born in San Valentino, a hamlet of the town of Castellarano, he was the second of three children of Roberto and Albertina Rivi. On the day after he was born, his parents brought him to be Baptised in the village church, after which they dedicated him to Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
Rivi grew up, educated in the faith by his mother and father and in the strong religious atmosphere, was a fixture in his Parish. Before going to work in the fields each morning, he attended the celebration of the Mass and received the Eucharist, after he made his First Communion. In this home filled with faith, he grew along with his older brother Guido and little sister Rosanna. His exuberance and liveliness often proved a test to his parents but his grandmother, Anna sensed his good character and said once that “Rolando will become either a rascal or a saint! He can not walk the middle ground.”
In 1937 he began attending the local school where his teachers cultivated his love for life and for Jesus Christ, while noting his desire to know and love Jesus. He was admitted to receive his First Communion almost at once, because he was among the better prepared children and eager to do so. His First Communion was made on 16 June 1938 on the Feast of Corpus Christi. Rolando changed after that event – while remaining amiable and energetic, he became more mature and responsible, which was a profound change and which was accentuated after receiving his Confirmation on 24 June 1940 from the Bishop of Reggio.
In the meantime, his Parish Priest Father Marzocchini Olinto, became his teacher and a spiritual father. Rivi availed himself of the Sacrament of Penance each week and each morning he got up to serve Mass and receive the Eucharist. He was almost 11 when he was no longer able to ignore the beginnings of his vocation to the Priesthood and he said to his parents and grandparents: “I want to be a Priest to save many souls. I will go as a Missionary to make Jesus known, far far away.” His pious parents did not oppose the decision and after he completed his schooling, he commenced his Ecclesial studies in Marola in Carpineti on 1 October 1942. As was the custom, he wore the cassock from the moment he entered as a Seminarian and was proud of the garment, viewing it as a sign of his belonging to Christ and to the Church.
Rolando was forced to leave his studies and return home in June 1944 after the Nazi forces occupied the Italian nation but he still wore his cassock with pride, against the wishes of his parents. His parents were worried about rising anti-religious sentiment and even violence against Ecclesial figures but he refused to desist and continued to wear it. He said to them: “I study to be a priest and these vestments are the sign that I belong to Jesus.”Rivi wore his cassock during vacation periods and even during the hot summer months. He liked music and could use a harmonium. People in his village admired him for his holiness and even his father admired him and said once: “My son is so good and studious.”
On 10 April 1945, Rolando was taken by a group of Communist insurgents, who forced him to go with them into the woods. His father, Roberto, wrote of that day as follows:
“It was the morning of 10 April 1945. After returning from Mass with my son, I left to work in the fields. When I returned around midday I did not find Rolando in the house. My sister-in-law told me that he had gone to study in his usual place, a grove nearby the house. I called him, there was no response. Together with his mother I went to the place thinking that he might be asleep but a sad surprise awaited us. His books were scattered on the ground and, on a piece of paper taken from one of his notebooks, these words were written: “Do not search for him, he has come with us for a moment. The Insurgents.” My wife began to cry.”
On Friday, 13 April 1945, after three days of torture and humiliation, the insurgents brought him to a forest in the village of Piane di Monchio, where there was already a grave dug. It was about 3:00 in the afternoon. They hurled him to the ground and then forced him to kneel on the edge of the grave. Before they killed him, Rolando asked for – and was granted – a moment to pray for his parents. Even then, he reaffirmed his belonging to Christ. The Communist insurgents then murdered him with two shots of the pistol.
On the evening of 14 April following the directions of some insurgents (including the very assassin!), Roberto Rivi and Father Alberto Camellini, the pastor of San Valentino, recovered Rolando’s body. His face was black and blue, his body tormented and there were two mortal wounds – one at the left temple and the other at the heart. The following day they brought him to the town of Monchio, where the funeral and Christian burial were held.
On the Sunday after Easter, Don Camellini and Roberto Rivi exhumed the Martyr’s body, which was temporarily buried in the neighbouring cemetery. On 25 May 25, 1945, the mortal remains were brought back to San Valentino, surrounded by a crowd of hundreds of young Catholics who had known the young saint. On his tomb, his father had these words engraved:
“Rest in light and peace, you who were extinguished by hatred and darkness.”
His figure became more well known in 2001 after news broke that the English child James Blacknall (born 1998) was cured of leukemia on 4 April 2001 after a hair and blood relic of Rivi was placed under his pillow with a novena said. Rolando Rivi’s cause for Canonisation was opened by the Archdiocese of Modena on 7 January 2006. In May of 2012, the competent Vatican commission of theologian “censors” approved the validity of Rolando’s Martyrdom in odium fidei – in hatred of the faith. Then, on 28 March 2013, Pope Francis authorised the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to promulgate a decree recognizing the Martyrdom. The ceremony of Beatification was celebrated on 5 October 2013, by Angelo Cardinal Amato, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, in the city of Modena. Almost 20 000 people attended the Beatification.
“If we could believe in Jesus Christ with the swiftness, the spontaneity, the simplicity and the docility with which Rolando Rivi believed, our faith would become strong like his, and our Church would become strong like the Church that he had in his heart and for which he did not hesitate to die” (Bishop Negri, Bishop of Montefeltre). We may ask, through the intercession of Blessed Rolando Rivi, for the grace to belong to Jesus totally and without compromise—then, will we enjoy true freedom and reign with Christ forever. Amen.
St Restitutus of Rome
Bl Richard Thirkeld Blessed Rolando Maria Rivi (1931-1945) Seminarian, Martyr Died aged 14
St Theodosia of Caesarea and Companions St Ursula Ledochowska (1865-1939) Her lifestory: https://anastpaul.com/2017/05/29/saint-of-the-day-29-may-st-ursula-ledochowska-mother-maria-ursula-of-jesus/
St Votus of Atares
St William of Cellone
Martyrs of Toulouse: A group of eleven Dominicans, Franciscans, Benedictines, clergy and lay brothers who worked with the Inquisition in southern France to oppose the Albigensian heresy. Basing their operations in a farmhouse outside Avignonet, France, he and his brother missioners worked against heresy. Murdered by Albigensian heretics while singing the Te Deum on the eve of Ascension. They werebeaten to death on the night of 28 to 29 May 1242 in the church of Avignonet, Toulouse, France and Beatified on 1 September 1866 by Pope Pius IX (cultus confirmation).
• Bernard of Roquefort
• Bernard of Toulouse
• Garcia d’Aure
• Pietro d’Arnaud
• Raymond Carbonius
• Raymond di Cortisan
• Stephen Saint-Thibery
• William Arnaud
• the prior of Avignonet whose name unfortunately has not come down to us.
The church in which they died was placed under interdict as punishment to the locals for the offense. Shortly after the interdict was finally lifted, a large statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary was found on the door step of church. Neither the sculptor nor the patron was ever discovered, nor who delivered it or how. The people took it as a sign that they were forgiven, but that they should never forget, and should renew their devotion to Our Lady. They referred to the image as “Our Lady of Miracles.”
Until recently there was a ceremony in the church on the night of the 28th to 29th of May, the anniversary of the martyrdom. Called “The Ceremony of the Vow”, parishioners would gather in the church, kneel with lit candles, and process across the church on their knees, all the while praying for the souls of the heretics who had murdered the martyrs.
Martyrs of Trentino: Three missionaries to the Tyrol region of Austria, sent by Saint Ambrose of Milan and welcomed by Saint Vigilius of Trent. All were martyred – Alexander, Martyrius and Sisinius. They were born in Cappadocia and died in 397 in Austria.