Thought for the Day – 30 June – “The Last Day of Month of the Sacred Heart” – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Devotion to the Sacred Heart
“When we consider it under it’s fundamental aspect as the cult of the love of God, rather than of the Incarnate Word, devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, is as old as Christianity, even though it is only in recent centuries, that it has assumed it’s present symbolism. “He who does not love, does not know God,” says St John, “for God is love” (1 Jn 4:8). “And we have come to know,” he continues “and have believed, the love that God has in our behalf. God is love and he who abides in love, abides in God and God in him” (1 Jn 4:16). This cult of the love of God, particularly of the love of God made man, vibrates throughout the pages of the Gospel and of the writings of the Apostles, especially of St John and of St Paul.
In the works of the Fathers, there are references to the Heart of Jesus, pierced with a lance, from which flowed all the infinite graces of the Church for our redemption. We are reminded of this in the Encylical, Haurietis Aquas, published by Pope Pius XII in the year 1956. But the specific cult of the love of God, as symbolised by the Heart of Jesus, was explicitly approved by the Church after Jesus Himself appeared in the year 1674 to St Margaret Mary Alacoque and showed her His Heart on fire with love for men.”
Quote/s of the Day – 30 June – “The Last day of the Month of the Sacred Heart” – Tuesday of the Thirteenth week in Ordinary Time Year A, Readings: Amos 3:1-8; 4:11-12, Psalm 5:5-8, Matthew 8:23-27
And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord, we are perishing.”
“It is I, be not afraid”
“Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”
“The waters have risen and severe storms are upon us but we do not fear drowning, for we stand firmly upon a rock. Let the sea rage, it cannot break the rock. Let the waves rise, they cannot sink the boat of Jesus.”
“Let the world be in upheaval. I hold to His promise and read His message, that is my protecting wall and garrison. What message? ‘Know that I am with you always, until the end of the world!'”
St John Chrysostom (347-407)
Father and Doctor of the Church
“It is not a calm sky, beloved but the storm which tests a pilot’s skill. When the breeze is mild, even the poorest sailor, can manage the ship. But in the crosswinds of a tempest, we want the best pilot with all His skill.”
St Peter Chrysologus (c 406 – c 450)
Father and Doctor of the Church
“Whoever has become a servant of the Lord, fears only his Master. But whoever is without the fear of God, is often afraid of his own shadow. Fearfulness is the daughter of unbelief. A proud soul is the slave of fear, hoping in itself, it comes to such a state, that it is startled by a small noise and is afraid of the dark.”
St John Climacus (579-649)
Father of the Church
“O Heart of love, I put all my trust in Thee, for I fear all things, from my own weakness, but I hope for all things, from Thy Goodness.”
St Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690)
“…Therefore, never allow yourself to start brooding again but always be brave and trust. Serve your good Master with an open heart full of joy. The right way is to see all events and all obstacles in the spirit of faith as being in the hands of Our Lord and to hear Him say to you, on every occasion, as He did to the disciples ‘It is I. Do not fear. Have faith.’”
St Michael Garicoïts (1797-1863)
“We need not be afraid because even while He sleeps, He watches over us. Jesus does not save us FROM storms, He saves us IN storms. DO NOT WAKE Jesus. Let Him sleep. He is still in control!”
He said to them, “Why are you afraid, O men of little faith?” Then he got up, rebuked the winds and the sea and there was great calm. … Matthew 8:26
REFLECTION – “God is not at all displeased when, on occasion, you quietly complain to him. Don’t be afraid of saying to him: “Lord, why do you stand afar off? (cf. Ps 9:22 LXX) You know well that I love You and only long for Your love. Graciously come to my aid and do not abandon me.”
If your desolation continues and your anguish is unbearable, unite your voice to that Jesus, Jesus dying in affliction on the cross – say, as you beg the divine pity: “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” (Mt 27:46) But profit from this trial, firstly, so as to humble yourself even more, while reminding yourself, that we are not worthy of any consolations when we have offended God and then, so as to revive your confidence even more by reminding yourself that, whatever He may do or permit, God only has your well-being in mind and that, in this way, “all things work together for the good” (cf. Rm 8:28) of your soul. The more that trouble and discouragement besiege you, the more you should arm yourself with courage and cry out: “The Lord is my light and my help, who should I fear?” (Ps 26:1). Yes, Lord, it is You who enlighten me, You who will save me, in You I entrust myself, “in you I place my hope, I shall never be confounded” (Ps 30:2 LXX).
In this way, stand firm in peace, certain that “no-one has hoped in the Lord and been confounded” (Sir 2:11 Vg.), none have been lost after having placed their trust in God.” … St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787) – Bishop and Doctor of the Church – What should we talk about with God? (from: ‘How to Converse Continually and Familiarly with God’).
PRAYER – Lord, You are the beginning and the end of all that we do, all that we are and all that we say. Lead us by the light of Your grace in complete trust and confidence and complete us with Your all-powerful help. Let Your light penetrate the hidden fears of our hearts and may our trust be complete. And may we always understand that our Mother, loves us and cares for us in all our needs. We worship You in Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 30 June – “The Last day of the Month of the Sacred Heart” – Tuesday of the Thirteenth week in Ordinary Time
Consecration to the Sacred Heart By Pope Leo XIII (1810-1903) Pope from 1878-1903
Most sweet Jesus, Redeemer of the human race,
look down upon us humbly prostrate before Thine altar.
We are Thine and Thine we wish to be
but, to be more surely united with Thee,
behold each one of us,
freely consecrates himself today to Thy most Sacred Heart.
Many indeed have never known Thee,
many too, despising Thy precepts, have rejected Thee.
Have mercy on them all, most merciful Jesus
and draw them to Thy Sacred Heart.
Be Thou King, O Lord, not only of the faithful,
who have never forsaken Thee
but also of the prodigal children, who have abandoned Thee,
grant that they may quickly return to Thy Father’s house
lest they die of wretchedness and hunger.
Be Thou King of those who are deceived by erroneous opinions,
or whom discord keeps aloof
and call them back to the harbour of truth and unity of faith,
so that there may be but one flock and one Shepherd.
Be Thou, King of all those.
who are still involved in the darkness of idolatry or of Islamism
and refuse not to draw them into the light and kingdom of God.
Turn Thine eyes of mercy towards the children of the race,
once Thy chosen people – of old they called down upon themselves
the Blood of the Saviour;
may it now descend upon them,
a laver of redemption and of life.
Grant, O Lord, to Thy Church,
assurance of freedom and immunity from harm;
give peace and order to all nations
and make the earth resound from pole to pole with one cry:
“Praise be to the divine Heart that wrought our salvation;
to It be glory and honour forever.”
The above prayer, composed by Pope Leo XIII was included in the 1899 encyclical Annum Sacrum issued by Leo XIII as he Consecrated the entire world to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The consecration was influenced by two letters written to the Holy Father by Blessed Sister Mary of the Divine Heart, who stated that in visions of Jesus Christ, she had been told to request the Consecration.
Saint of the Day – 30 June – Blessed Philip Powell OSB (1594 – 1646) Priest, Martyr, Benedictine Monk – born on 2 February 1594 in Tralon, Brecknockshire, England and died by being hang, drawn and quartered on 30 June 1646 at Tyburn, London, England. He is also remembered on 4 May with the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales. Also known as – Philip Morgan, Philip Powel, Philip Prosser.
Philip Powell was the son of Roger and Catherine Powell (nee Morgan) and was brought up to the law by David Baker, afterwards Dom Augustine Baker OSB. At the age of sixteen he became a student in the Temple, London but went to Douai three or four years later to study for the Priesthood.
He was Ordained a Priest in 1618 and was professed a Monk on 15 August 1619, having studied under Dom Leander Jones OSB. He was next made Cellarer of St Gregory’s Monastery, Douai and then was sent on the English mission on 7 March 1622. He lived with Dom Baker OSB for sixteen months in Gray’s Inn Lane, London. For the following twenty years he was Chaplain to various families in Devon and Somerset until the Civil War broke out.
After serving as a Chaplain to Royalist troops, he tried to make his way to Monmouthshire in 1646. He was arrested off the Mumbles on 22 February 1646 by Capt Crowther, who kept him confined in his ship for two months in Penarth Roads and then sent him by sea to London. There he was confined in St Catherine’s Gaol, Southwark, where the harsh treatment he received brought on a severe attack of pleurisy.
His trial, which had been fixed for 30 May, did not take place till 9 June, at Westminster Hall. He was found guilty of being a Catholic Priest and was hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn.
It is recorded that when informed of his death sentence, Powell exclaimed “Oh what am I, that God thus honours me and will have me to die for His sake?” and called for a glass of sack (or sherry).
At the instance of the Common Council of London, his head and quarters were not exposed but were buried in the old churchyard at Moorfields.
The Martyr’s Crucifix, which had formerly belonged to Feckenham, last Abbot of Westminster, is preserved at Downside, with some of his hair and a cloth stained with his blood.
He was Beatified by Pope Pius XI on 15 December 1929.
St Theobald of Provins
St Vihn Son Ðo Yen
Bl Zenon Kovalyk
Martyrs of Africa – 7 saints: Seven Christians martyred together. No detail about them have surived but the names – Cursicus, Gelatus, Italica, Leo, Timotheus, Zoilus, and Zoticus. Date and precise location in Africa unknown.
Thought for the Day – 29 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
St Peter, Prince of the Apostles
St Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles
“Jesus was walking one day along the shoe of the Sea of Galilee, when He saw two fishermen casting their nets into the water.
He approached them and said: “Come, follow me and I will make you fishers of men” (Mk 1:17).
These two fishermen were brothers named, Simon and Andrew.
The divine Master won their hearts immediately, so that they left their boat and their nets and followed Jesus.
Simon was later called Peter and became the leader of the Apostles.
Peter’s generosity and great love for Jesus are evident in the pages of the Gospel.
When Our Lord foretold the institution of the Blessed Eucharist, many of His disciples were scandalised and left Him. “Do you also wish to go away?” Jesus asked His Apostles.
St Peter answered Him without delay. “Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou has the words of everlasting life and we have come to believe and to know, that Thou are the Christ, the Son of God” (Jn 6:69).
On another occasion, Jesus asked His disciples – “Who do men say the Son of Man is?” The Apostles hesitated and began to suggest the names of various Prophets.
But St Peter was inspired to make the reply: “Thou are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Then Our Lord appointed him Head of the Church. “Blessed are thou, Simon Bar-Jona … thou are Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church and the gates of hell, shall not prevail against it. And I will give thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven and whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven” (Mt 16:15-19).
By these words there was instituted the loftiest and most ancient of the dynasties, the Papacy.
The successor of St Peter will rule the Church to the end of time and no power, neither persecution nor heresy, neither human tyranny nor false civilisation, will ever succeed in destroying this citadel of truth and goodness!”
St Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles
“St Paul was by nature, fiery and zealous.
Once he discovered the truth, he was ready to die for it.
Originally he was convinced that Judaism contained the whole truth and, for this reason he hated the Christians, whom he regarded as a sect which had corrupted the sacred Hebrew tradition.
The deacon Stephen was the first victim of his persecuting zeal.
As he was being stoned and beaten to death this saintly young man prayed for his persecutors.
It may be that in this moment his eyes, shining with faith and love, encountered those of the man who hated him.
Soon afterwards, Saul (this was Paul’s real name), left Jerusalem for Damascus, carrying letters investing him with new powers for the persecution of the infant Church.
On the way, this headstrong but sincere enemy of Christianity was suddenly dazzled by a light from Heaven.
He fell to the ground and heard a mysterious voice saying: “Saul, Saul, why do thou persecute me?”
Terrified he answered: “Who are thou, Lord?” “I am Jesus,” the voice said, “whom thou are persecuting” (Acts 9:1-15).
From that day, Saul was changed completely.
Under the influence of divine grace, he became the Apostle to the Gentiles.
Before he set out on his missionary journeys, Paul wet apart into the desert of Arabia (Cf Gal 1:17), where, he remained sometime in prayer and recollection.
Then he went to Jerusalem to pay homage to the Prince of the Apostles, St Peter (Gal 1:18).
After this, he began his apostolic travels, in the course of which, he encountered all kinds of hardships and dangers.
The Jews frequently hunted him, in order to put him to death.
He was often cruelly scourged and flung into prison and, several times, he was shipwrecked and had miraculous escapes from death (CF 2 Cor 11:23-27).
He bore everything joyfully however, in order to prove his liove for Jesus Christ.
Charity was always his main incentive. “The love of Christ impels us” (2 Cor 5:14).
Charity, he said himself, “Believes all things, hopes all things,edues all things” (Cf 1 Cor 13:4-13).
His charity was so great, that he could truthfully say: “Who is weak and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble and I am not inflamed?” (2 Cor 11:29).
St Paul could make this claim because his heart had become identified with the Heart of Jesus.
Therefore, he could say: “It is now no longer I that live but Christ lives in me,” (Gal 2:20) and: “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain,” (Phil 1:21) and: “I am hard pressed from both sides, desiring to depart and to be with Christ, a lot by far the better; yet, to stay on in the flesh is necessary, for your sake” (Phil 1:23-24).
Let us meditate on this ardent love of God.
Let us cast aside our coldness and indifference and ask St Paul, to set us on fire with divine charity.” Amen
Quote/s of the Day – 29 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – The Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul
“Their sound has gone out into all the earth and their words to the ends of the world”
“On this rock I will build my church”
“I assure you, brothers, the gospel I proclaimed to you is no mere human invention. I did not receive it from any man, nor was I schooled in it. It came by revelation from Jesus Christ.”
“….but we rejoice in our sufferings because we know, that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character and character, hope.”
“Paul, more than anyone else, has shown us what man really is and in what our nobility consists and of what virtue this particular animal is capable. Each day he aimed ever higher, each day he rose up with greater ardour and faced with new eagerness, the dangers that threatened him. He summed up his attitude in the words: I forget what is behind me and push on to what lies ahead. … The most important thing of all to him, however, was that he knew himself to be loved by Christ. Enjoying this love, he considered himself happier than anyone else …”
“The most important thing of all to him, however, was that he knew himself to be loved by Christ. … To be separated from that love was, in his eyes, the greatest and most extraordinary of torments, the pain of that loss would alone, have been hell and endless, unbearable torture.”
St John Chrysostom (347-407)
Father and Doctor of the Church
“There must be general rejoicing, dearly beloved, over this holy company whom God has appointed for our example in patience and for our confirmation in faith. But we must glory even more in the excellence of their fathers, Peter and Paul, whom the grace of God has raised to such a height among all the members of the Church that He has set them like twin lights of eyes in that Body whose head is Christ.”
“Out of the whole world one man, Peter, is chosen to preside at the head of all nations and to be set over all the apostles and all the fathers of the church. Though there are, in God’s people, many bishops and many shepherds, Peter is thus appointed to rule in his own person, those whom Christ also rules as the original ruler.”
Saint Pope Leo the Great (400-461)
Father Doctor unitatis Ecclesiae
“…They said that, [the] Mediator had come and gone but, had left behind Him, what was to be His representative till the end of all things, His Mystical Body, the Church, in joining which, lay the salvation of the world.”
St John Henry Newman (1801-1890)
O God, who on the Solemnity of the Apostles Peter and Paul give us a noble and holy joy of this day. Grant, we pray, that Your Church may in all things follow the teaching of those through whom she received the beginnings of right religion. Grant that we may be sustained by the intercession of the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul and that Your Church, may ever stand firm upon the one foundation, which is Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with You, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen
“Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” … Jesus said to him in reply … And so I say to you, you are Peter and upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of the hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” … Matthew 16:16,17,18-19
REFLECTION – “Christ the Mediator “ committed no sin and no deceit was found in his mouth” (1Pt 2:22). How could I venture to draw near Him, I who am a sinner, a grievous sinner whose sins are more numerous than the sands of the sea? He is all that is most pure, I am all that is most impure … This is the reason why God has given me these apostles, men and sinners – very grievous sinners – who learnt for themselves, through their own experience, how merciful they should be to others. Guilty themselves of great offences, they will grant a ready pardon to great offences and repay us according to the measure meted out to them (Lk 6:38).
The apostle Peter committed a very great sin, possibly the greatest of all. He received a forgiveness for it that was as swift as it was ready, even to not losing anything of the privilege of his primacy. And Paul, who unleashed unrestrained aggression against the newborn Church, was brought to faith at the call of God’s Son Himself. In return for so many evils, he was filled with such great blessings that he became “a chosen instrument to carry the Lord’s name before Gentiles, kings and Israelites” (Acts 9:15) (…)
Peter and Paul are our teachers – they learned the way of life fully from the one Teacher of all and continue to teach us today.” … St Bernard (1091-1153) Cistercian Monk, Theologian, Mellifluous Doctor
PRAYER – O God, who on the Solemnity of the Apostles Peter and Paul give us the noble and holy joy of this day, grant, we pray, that your Church may in all things follow the teaching of those through whom she received the beginnings of right religion. 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
A Blessed and Holy Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, the Pillars of the Church! – 29 June
These are the ones who, living in the flesh, planted the Church with their blood; they drank the chalice of the Lord and became the friends of God.
O God, who on the Solemnity of the Apostles Peter and Paul give us the noble and joy of this day, grant we pray, that your Church may in all things follow the teaching of those through whom she received the beginnings of right religion.
Veneration of the two great Apostles, Peter and Paul, has its roots in the very foundations of the Church. They are the solid rock on which the Church is built. They are at the origin of her faith and will forever remain her protectors and her guides. To them, Rome owes her true greatness, for it was under God’s providential guidance that they were led to make the capital of the Empire, sanctified by their Martyrdom, the centre of the Christian world whence should radiate the preaching of the Gospel.
St Peter suffered Martyrdom under Nero, in 66 or 67. He was buried on the hill of the Vatican where recent excavations have revealed his tomb on the very site of the Basilica of St Peter’s. St Paul was beheaded in the Via Ostia on the spot where now stands the Basilica bearing his name. Down the centuries, Christian people in their thousands have gone on pilgrimage to the tombs of these Apostles. In the second and third centuries the Roman Church already stood pre-eminent by reason of her apostolicity, the infallible truth of her teaching and her two great figures, Sts Peter and Paul.
A partial indulgence may be gained today by anyone who makes devout use of a religious article blessed by any priest but “if the article of devotion has been blessed by the Sovereign Pontiff or by any Bishop, the faithful, using it, can also gain a plenary indulgence, provided they also make a profession of faith (e.g. the Apostles Creed), as long as the usual conditions are satisfied.”
“There is one day for the passion of two apostles. But these two also were as one; although they suffered on different days, they were as one. Peter went first, Paul followed. We are celebrating a feast day, consecrated for us by the blood of the apostles. Let us love their faith, their lives, their labours, their sufferings, their confession of faith, their preaching.”
St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor of the Church
St Anastasius of Bourges
St Benedicta of Sens
St Cassius of Narni
St Ciwg ap Arawn
St Ilud Ferch Brychan
St Judith of Niederaltaich
St Marcellus of Bourges
St Mary, the Mother of John Mark
St Salome of Niederaltaich
St Syrus of Genoa
Bl William of Sann
Martyrs of China
Ioannes Baptista Wu Mantang
Magdalena Du Fengju
Maria Du Tianshi
Paulus Wu Anju
Paulus Wu Wanshu
Sunday Reflection – 28 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A
This is that Body which was once covered with blood
“When you see (the Most Blessed Sacrament) exposed, say to yourself –
‘Thanks to this Body, I am no longer dust and ashes, I am no more a captive but a freeman, hence, I hope to obtain heaven and the good things that are there in store for me… eternal life, the heritage of the angels, companionship with Christ; death has not destroyed this Body which was pierced by nails and scourged . . . this is that Body which was once covered with blood, pierced by a lance, from which issued saving fountains upon the world, one of blood and the other of water. .
‘This Body He gave to us to keep and eat, as a mark of His intense love’.”
Thought for the Day – 28 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Anyone who sincerely loves Jesus Christ, will not be satisfied with receiving Him daily in the Blessed Eucharist.
Often, during the day, he will feel the need of uniting himself again to the divine Spouse in an act of love.
This is what is known as Spiritual Communion.
It is a natural and spontaneous act for a true lover of Jesus.
“I am the vine, you are the branches,” Jesus has told us. “He who abides in me and I in him, he bears much fruit … as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in me” (Cf Jn 15:4).
Since the supernatural life flows into our souls from Jesus, we must maintain our union with Him, even when He is not sacramentally present.
It is true, that the divine grace, remains in us, as long as we do not fall into mortal sin but, it grows weaker under the influence of worldly attractions and temptations.
It is necessary to revive the grace that is in us, when we feel that it is waning.
For this purpose, Spiritual Communion is very useful, for it is an ardent desire to receive Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament (Summa Theologiae, III, q 8, a 1 ad 3) and, an outpouring of love, in which we beseech Jesus to come and take complete possession of our hearts.
This practice was recommended by the Council of Trent (Session XIII, ch 8) and was frequently used by the Saints in order to keep alive the fire of divine charity in their souls and to guard themselves against the onslaughts of the world, the flesh and the devil.
If we act in the same manner, Jesus will always be within us and we shall always be in Jesus.
If God lives in us, who can harm us?
If God is for us, who is against us? (Rom 8:31).”
Quote/s of the Day – 28 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – The Memorial of Blessed Paolo Giustiniani ECMC (1476-1528) – Monk, Hermit and Founder of the Congregation of the Camaldolese Hermits of Monte Corona
“The supreme goal to which the monk tends, the summit of the perfection of his heart, is indeed the union of his heart with his Lord.”
St John Cassian (c 360-435)
Monk, Father of the Church and Founder of Monasteries Disciple of St John Chrysostom
“O Hermitage, only those who know you, who rest sweetly in your arms, can tell of your grandeur and chant your praises. As for me, I only know this and affirm it in all sincerity – Whoever forces himself with perseverance to enter more and more into the desire to love You, will finally enter Your mystery and, at the same time, the mystery of God.”
St Peter Damian (1007-1072)
Doctor of the Church
“Go to Church for the work of God, not by habit or duty, but rather driven, by the interior desire to praise our Creator.”
“Celebrate holy Mass in the joy of the Spirit.”
“I desire to serve my Lord Jesus Christ. However, I blindly entrust the manner of service to His decision – in action or in contemplation, in peace and quiet or in suffering and tribulation, in the quiet of the cell or else in wearisome wanderings. So long as I am serving Him, I have no preference or taste of my own.”
“To me it appears incontrovertible, that, above the light and discourse of reason, there is another light. It is clearer and more evident, given by God to those human minds that do not refuse to receive it and by means of it, God can be properly understood. …. This is the light of faith.“
Prayer of Blessed Paolo Giustiniani “Lord, I dare not say to You: “Show me the light that I may believe in Your Light” but it is enough for me, that You make me see my darkness … Bring me back to myself. In my misery I have distanced myself not only from You but from myself, becoming a stranger to myself. Make me know my darkness, that then I may look at the light. Yes, I tell You and repeat to You incessantly, Show me to myself, so that I may know my sins.”
“Until I was alone I never really lived. Until I was alone, I was not with myself. Until I was alone, I never drew near to my creator.”
“Whoever receives you, receives me and whoever receives me, receives the one who sent me.” … Matthew 10:40
REFLECTION – “The Lord said: “Whoever welcomes this little child on my account welcomes me.” (Lk 9:48) The smaller our brother is, the more Christ is present. For when we welcome a great personality, we often do so out of vainglory but the person who welcomes someone unimportant, does so, with a pure intention and for Christ. He said: “I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” And again: “As often as you did it for one of my least brothers, you did it for me.” (Mt 25:35.40) Since He is talking about a believer and a brother, no matter how unimportant he is, Christ comes in with him. Open your house and welcome him.
“He who welcomes a prophet because he bears the name of prophet receives a prophet’s reward.” Thus, the person who welcomes Christ will receive the reward of Christ’s hospitality. Do not doubt His words, trust them. He himself told us: “In them, I am presenting myself.” And so that you do not doubt them, He decreed the punishment for those who do not welcome Him and the honours for those who do welcome Him (Mt 25:31). He would not do this if He were not personally touched by honour or scorn. He says: ‘You welcomed Me into your house, I will welcome you in the Kingdom of my Father. You freed Me from hunger, I will free you from your sins. You saw Me in chains, I will let you see your liberation. You saw Me a stranger, I will make of you a citizen of heaven. You gave Me bread, I will give you the Kingdom as your inheritance that is entirely yours. You helped Me in secret, I will proclaim it publicly and I will say that you are My benefactor and that I am in your debt.’” … St John Chrysostom (345-407) Bishop of Constantinople, Father and Doctor of the Church – Homilies on the Acts of the Apostles, no. 45
PRAYER – O Lamb of God By St Irenaeus (c 130 – 202)
O Lamb of God,
who takes away the sin of the world,
look upon us and have mercy upon us;
You who art Yourself, both victim and Priest,
Yourself, both Reward and Redeemer,
keep safe from all evil
those whom You have redeemed,
O Saviour of the world.
Our Morning Offering – 28 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
O Heart of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament By The League of the Sacred Heart 1929 (Ireland)
O Heart of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament,
overflowing with gentleness,
tenderness and charity,
I bury in the abyss of The Mercy,
all my iniquities and all my negligence.
I offer Thee
my labours and my sufferings,
my sorrows and my miseries,
I recommend to Thee
my life and my death.
Solace my doubts Sweet Jesus,
calm my fears
and grant, that day by day,
I may become more united to Thy Sacred Heart,
learning Thy love and Thy holiness.
Saint of the Day – 28 June – Blessed Paolo Giustiniani ECMC (1476-1528) – Priest, Monk and Founder of the Congregation of the Camaldolese Hermits of Monte Corona, Reformer – born as Tommaso Giustiniani on 14 June in Venice, Italy and died on 28 June 1528, aged 52 in Monte Soratte.
He was a member of the noble Giustiniani family of Venice and was born there in 1476, the son of Francesco Giustiniani and Paola Malipiero. He studied theology, philosophy and law, at the University of Padua. when he had completed his studies, in 1507, he made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land and upon his return he felt a call to follow the life of a the religious.
He joined the Order of the Camàldula, the Camaldolese, in 1510. The superior of the order, Pietro Delfino, asked him to assist in ending the irregularities that existed in some communities of the order, caused by the autonomy of each house and the lack of authority of the Prior General. Especially, the conventual branch (of cenobitic life) had relaxed in the application of the rule. In 1513, Pope Leo X, at the request of Giustiniani and Delfino, convened a General Chapter of the Camaldolese that decided the creation of the united congregation of the Sacred Hermitage and San Michele de Murano, with temporary general Priors and with a balance between the Conventual and Hermit branches.
In 1516 he was elected Prior of the Hermitage of Camaldoli until 1520 and in 1518 he was Ordained a Priest. Desiring a more hermit-like type of life and faithful to the primitive rule of the order, he obtained from Pope Leo X, permission to found other communities, which would follow the original rule of St Romuald. Pope Leo X granted him the necessary permission and allowed him to found a differentiated congregation, free from the jurisdiction of the Camaldolese Prior General and with its own constitutions, called the Company of Hermits of Saint Romuald, which would later be the Congregation of the Camaldolese Hermits of Monte Corona. This Order would come to considered as the most faithful expression of the original Charism of the Order of St Romuald.
On his return from Rome with permission, Giustiniani resigned as Prior and with a companion, Oliverio da Cortona, went to seek the spiritual guidance of a Hermit who lived in Monte Corona, near Perugia. Together with a Dominican, they went to live alone in a place in the Apennines, Pascialupo, where they lived in a Chapel and in 1521 founded the Hermitage of Monte Cucco.
Paolo was left alone with the Camaldolese monk who had accompanied him, as the other companion did not want to adopt the rule of St Romuald. The monks of Camaldoli asked him to be closer to them and he soon moved to a Hermitage near Massaccio, where he was joined by other monks of Camaldoli. These first Hermitages were followed by those of Cupramontana, San Leonardo de Monte Volubrio (diocese of Fermo) and San Benedetto de Monte Conero, near Ancona .
In 1522, Giustiniani drafted the constitutions of the new congregation, which consisted of the rigorous application of the original rule, modifying only the habit.
In 1523, the Order recognised the congregation of Monte Corona as independent, remaining in the Camaldolese family and in 1524 the first Chapter of the four hermitages of the congregation took place, which elected the Founder as Prior General. In 1527 he went to Rome for matters of order and was taken prisoner by the soldiers of the army of Charles V who occupied the city. with Gaietà de Thiene , also a prisoner, he was tortured but released. He returned to Venice and then to Massaccio.
In 1528 he returned to Rome and visited the Pope, obtaining confirmation of some privileges of the Order. In Viterbo he contracted the plague. He went to San Silvestro de Monte Soratte, near Rome, an ancient Benedictine Abbey that had been given to the Hermits of Monte Corona. He died there on 28 June 1528.
He was succeeded as the Prior General of the congregation by Agostino di Basciano.
He was buried in the crypt of San Silvestro. His relics were lost during the abandonment of the Hermitage and were only rediscovered in 1932. Although he has never been formally Beatified, he had always been considered a saint and was decribed as a “beati.” His cultus was formally confirmed allowing special veneration in his order.
Blessed Paolo Giustiniani’s Camaldolese Hermits of Monte Corona lives solely in Hermitages, usually with a very small number of monks comprising the community. There are three houses in Italy, two in Poland and one each in Spain, the United States and Colombia, as well as a new foundation in Venezuela. Unlike the other congregation, it is not a member of the larger Benedictine Confederation.
Bl Almus of Balmerino
St Argymirus of Córdoba
St Attilio of Trino
St Austell of Cornwall
St Benignus of Utrecht
Bl Damian of Campania
St Papias the Martyr Blessed Paolo Giustiniani ECMC (1476-1528)
St Pope Paul I
St Theodichildis St Vincenza Gerosa (1784–1847) Her life: https://anastpaul.com/2019/06/28/saint-of-the-day-28-june-st-vincenza-gerosa-1784-1847/
Martyrs of Africa – 27 saints: 27 Christians martyred together. The only details about them to survive are the names – Afesius, Alexander, Amfamon, Apollonius, Arion, Capitolinus, Capitulinus, Crescens, Dionusius, Dioscorus, Elafa, Eunuchus, Fabian, Felix, Fisocius, Gurdinus, Hinus, Meleus, Nica, Nisia, Pannus, Panubrius, Plebrius, Pleosus, Theoma, Tubonus and Venustus. Unknown location in Africa, date unknown.
Martyrs of Alexandria – 8 saints: A group of spiritual students of Origen who were martyred together in the persecutions of emperor Septimius Severus – Heraclides, Heron, Marcella, Plutarch, Potamiaena the Elder, Rhais, Serenus and Serenus. They were burned to death c.206 in Alexandria, Egypt.
Thought for the Day – 27 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Sacred Heart of Jesus Pierced by a Crown of Thorns
“There are many ways of showing our love for the Sacred Heart of Jesus and of making reparation for our sins and for the sins of mankind.
We can console ourselves with the reflection, that by these acts of love and reparation, we are removing the thorns which encircle and pierce the Heart of Jesus.
The simplest ways of doing this, are by prayers, aspirations and expressions of love, directed towards the adorable Heart of our Redeemer and, by visits to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.
In silence and recollection, before the Tabernacle, we shall feel the Heart of Jesus, beating with love and, shall offer in return, for His infinite love, the affection of our poor hearts.
We can also receive Holy Communion in reparation.
When Jesus is in us and we are in Jesus, it will be easier and more pleasant, to offer Him our love and expiation.
We can make reparation also, by practising the devotion of the First Fridays of the month.
This pious practice, so pleasing to the Heart of Jesus, aims at being a mass offering of love and reparation, for the sins of the entire human race.”
Quote/s of the Day – 27 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Memorial of St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) and Blessed Louise-Thérèse de Montaignac de Chauvance OSHJ (1820-1885) “Apostle of the Sacred Heart”
“You work for God, without doubt but one must work IN God.”
“Love dies where there is no humility.”
“To hand onto your children.
the faith you received from your parents,
is your first duty
and your greatest privilege as parents.
The home should be the first school of religion,
as it must be the first school of prayer.”
Prayer of Bl Louise-Thérèse “O Jesus, Eternal Life in the womb of the Father, Life of souls made in Your likeness, In the name of Your Love, make Your Heart known and revealed.”
Blessed Louise-Thérèse de Montaignac de Chauvance (1820-1885)
“Apostle of the Sacred Heart”
“By nature, each one of us is enclosed, in his own personality but supernaturally, we are all one. We are made one body in Christ because we are nourished by one flesh. As Christ is indivisible, we are all one in Him. Therefore, He asked His Father “that they may all be One, as We also are one.”
“We have passed over the waves of this present life like a sea, with its commotion and insane bustle. We have eaten spiritual manna, the bread that came down from heaven giving life to the world.”
“Christ, has dominion over all creatures, a dominion not seized by violence nor usurped but His, by essence and by nature.
“The mark of Christ’s sheep is their willingness to hear and obey, just as disobedience is the mark of those who are not His. We take the word ‘hear’ to imply obedience to what has been said.”
“We must note, therefore, that he that does things pleasing to God, serves Christ but he that follows his own wishes, is a follower, rather of himself and not of God.”
“Our lives are all controlled by the Spirit now and are not confined to this physical world that is subject to corruption. The light of the Only-begotten has shone on us and we have been transformed into the Word, the source of all life.”
St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444)
Father and Doctor of the Incarnation
One Minute Reflection – 27 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart”- Saturday of the Twelfth week in Ordinary Time, Year A, Readings: Lamentations 2:2, 10-14, 18-19, Psalm 74:1-7, 20-21, Matthew 8:5-17 and the Feast of Our Mother of Perpetual Succour and the Memorial of St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) – Doctor of the Church “The Pillar of Faith” & “Seal of all the Fathers” – Doctor Incarnationis (Doctor of the Incarnation) and Bl Louise-Thérèse de Montaignac de Chauvance OSHJ (1820-1885)
“Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof” … Matthew 8:8
REFLECTION – “When the Lord promised to go to the centurion’s house to heal his servant, the centurion answered, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof but only say the word and my servant will be healed.” By viewing himself as unworthy, he showed himself worthy for Christ to come, not merely into his house but also into his heart. He would not have said this with such great faith and humility, if he had not already welcomed in his heart, the One who came into his house. It would have been no great joy for the Lord Jesus to enter into his house and not to enter his heart. For the Master of humility, both by word and example, sat down also in the house of a certain proud Pharisee, Simon and, though He sat down in his house, there was no place in his heart. For in his heart the Son of Man could not lay his head.” – St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of Grace – Sermon 62
PRAYER – God our Father, You open the gates of the kingdom of heaven to those who are born again of water and the Holy Spirit. Increase the grace You have given, so that the people who have been purified from all sin, may not forfeit the promised blessing of Your love. Grant that we may ever keep Your Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, before our eyes and do all in Him and through Him and for Him and may the prayers of our Mother of Perpetual Succour may ever guide and bear us in her care and may Your Saints pray for Holy Mother Church and us all! We make our pray through Christ, our Lord, in union with You and the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 27 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart”- Saturday of the Twelfth week in Ordinary Time and the Feast of Our Mother of Perpetual Succour
Prayer to our Mother of Perpetual Succour When In Need By St Alphonsus’ Redemptorists
O Mother of Perpetual Succour,
numerous clients continually surround
thy Holy picture,
all imploring thy mercy.
All bless thee as the assured help of the miserable,
all feel the benefit of thy motherly protection.
With confidence, then, do we present ourselves before thee in our misery.
See, dear Mother, the many evils to which we are exposed,
see how numerous are our wants.
Trials and sorrows often depress us,
reverses of fortune and privations,
often grievous, bring misery into our lives,
everywhere we meet the Cross.
Have pity, compassionate Mother,
on us and in our dear ones,
especially in this our necessity
…………… (mention your need).
Help us, dear Mother in our distress,
deliver us from all our ills,
or, if it be the Will of God,
that we should suffer still longer,
grant that we may endure all,
with love and patience.
These Grace’s we expect of thee with confidence,
because thou art our Perpetual Succour,
Saint of the Day – 27 June – Blessed Louise-Thérèse de Montaignac de Chauvance OSHJ (1820-1885) Religious Sister and Founder of the Pious Union of Oblates of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. She was known for her staunch devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Her life witnessed her dedication to Catechetical formation and promoting the Sacred Heart in France. Born on 14 May 1820 in Le Havre-de-Grâce, Seine Maritime, France and died on 27 June 1885 in Moulins, Allier, France of natural causes, aged 65. Patronage – Oblates of the Heart of Jesus.
“In this nineteenth century, when there is so much division, frequently even within families, our mission is to unite… To firmly unite souls in a bond of true devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.” These heartfelt words of Blessed Louise-Thérèse de Montaignac reveal the spirit of the Foundress of the Oblates of the Heart of Jesus. “A daughter of the Church and a woman in the Church,” said Saint John Paul II, “Louise-Thérèse wished to serve the Lord and the Church, which are one. Animated by an ardent apostolic desire and sustained by a great devotion to the Heart of Jesus, she began the work in close cooperation with her Bishop, with the Priests of her parish and with the lay faithful. She founded the Oblates who, through their union among themselves, were called to be agents of unity.” (Beatification Homily, 4 November 1990)
Louise-Thérèse was born in Le Havre on 14 May 1820, to a profoundly Christian family, who passed on the faith to her as a precious heritance. She was Baptised the next day. Later, she would express her happiness at being a daughter of God and would celebrate each anniversary of her Baptism.
From her father, Raymond de Montaignac de Chauvance, a civil servant and her mother, Anne de Raffin, Louise-Thérèse received the example of a life open to all. She was very close to her older sister Anna and her four brothers, she worked to make them happy. As a child, Louise was lively, spontaneous, always active: “I was made to love, so I desperately clung to all that was good ….” Her spontaneous nature played tricks on her; she made lots of foolish mistakes and did stupid things but her confidence disarmed all severity. The little girl loved to pray. One day, after a long search, she was found snuggled in a closet. “I was saying my prayers,” she said and when asked the reason for this strange behaviour, she explained, “It’s so that I don’t do any wrong to God.”
In 1827, Louise went off to boarding school in Châteauroux, at the Monastery of the Faithful Companions of Jesus and then, for the following two years, at the des Oiseaux convent, run by the Daughters of Our Lady. Boarding school rules did not suit her in the least. During her first stay, she was still afraid of punishments. However, she received a grace at Christmas – in contemplating the crèche she discovered the touching mystery of a God-child, poor and suffering. She allowed herself to be taken by Him and began to love Him. At des Oiseaux, she was “so scatterbrained that she was always in penance and in tears.” In class, she “consented to study only because her companions were ahead of her.” In the chapel, she made commendable efforts to be recollected but her good resolutions were always short lived. Louise would, nevertheless, always keep from these years the memory of happy days, in which her heart opened to God through her confessions as a child, her confidences to the Mother Superior “Mama Sophie” and her first friendships. But, it must be acknowledged, her studies scarcely progressed. A change was needed; her parents entrusted her to her aunt, Madame de Raffin, who was also her godmother. Over the years, the affection that united the young woman and her goddaughter would turn into a profound closeness. For fifteen years, Louise lived in the Raffin home, sometimes in Nevers, sometimes in the country, without losing the bond with her family. “It was,”she would say, “one of the greatest graces of my life.”
Her First Communion took place on 6 June 1833. “The little girl, the reediest there ever was,” she would say, had changed into a serious adolescent: “Since my First Communion, I have always remained under divine action.” The Eucharist became the centre of her life. Madame de Raffin was a woman of tempered faith but more energetic than tender. In school, Louise learned to control her natural energy without destroying its dynamism. She received a solid education, cultivated her artistic gifts and started learning the role of lady of the house. Under the direction of Father Gaume (1802-1879), the Director of the Minor Seminary, then Vicar General of the Diocese of Nevers, she likewise benefited from a spiritual and doctrinal formation. Louise immersed herself in the Gospels, the Psalms and read the Fathers of the Church and Saint Teresa of Avila, who became her main patroness. In 1837, when she returned to the des Oiseaux convent, she re-found the force of the faith that was the mark of this house, which radiated devotion to the Heart of Jesus. She was received into the Children of Mary. The Most Blessed Virgin, to whom “she confided all her sorrows”when she was a child, would from then on be her “teacher at every moment.”
On Christmas 1836, Louise-Thérèse came out of midnight Mass, with her friend Camille de Breathier, who was murmuring the verse from Revelations: it is these who follow the Lamb wherever He goes (Rev. 14:4). Louise was overcome… To follow Jesus wherever He goes! From that moment on, the white light of the Lamb illumined her steps, tracing out the radiant path on which she strove to follow Him. On 21 November 1838, Father Gaume gave her permission to take the vow of virginity. Four years later, at the age of twenty-two, Louise-Thérèse was bedridden for ten months with a bone disease – the first health ordeal which would unite her more intimately with God. Madame de Raffin helped her to live this time of suffering in recognition that in all things, “God’s will is pure love.” Following this illness, her aunt asked Louise-Thérèse this blunt question: “If Our Lord said to you: ‘Do you wish to be attached to the Cross with Me up to the point of death,’ would you accept?” “Yes,” she replied, “and with all my heart!” She would fully live out this “folly of love that does not calculate, does not reason, that runs without resting after the Saviour.”
In the era following the Revolution, in a world contaminated by scepticism, many people’s faith was shaken. In response, fervent Christians dedicated themselves to God through a vow to the Sacred Heart. The formula of this vow, written by Father Roothaan, the Father General of the Jesuits, spread throughout France. From this source sprang a veritable spiritual renewal. Madame de Raffin had heard about it from Father Ronsin, the spiritual director for the des Oiseaux Convent and, in 1841, she made the consecration. On 8 September 1843, Louise-Thérèse also made it. This vow is a response of our love to God’s first loving us, revealed by the Heart of Jesus, a response that engages the whole person in carrying out the Father’s plan. It was already the Oblation that would make the future Oblates. Forty years later, Louise-Thérèse could not recall the memory of this blessed day without profound emotion: “The vow to the Sacred Heart made my life. It was for me the source of all graces, of all joys.”
To revive the faith, Madame de Raffin conceived a vast plan of uniting Christian women in devotion to the Heart of Jesus: “Little scattered pieces of coal,” she said, “can produce neither flame, nor warmth: gathered together, they can light a great fire capable of illumining and reheating the world.” Initially associated with the project, Louise-Thérèse took it over with the death of her aunt in 1845. She recalled it’s inspiration in light of the Gospel: “I came to cast fire upon the earth and would that it were already kindled!” (Lk. 12:49). She dreamed of entering Carmel but gave it up, on Father Gaume’s recommendation: “Your vocation,” he told her, “is to carry Carmel into the midst of the world.”
The Revolution of 1848 shook France. Monsieur de Montaignac resigned as a civil servant. The family left Paris and settled in Montluçon, in the province of Bourbonnais, where it’s real roots were. Louise-Thérèse wondered how to awaken the faith in this city that was rapidly growing but marked by religious indifference. Everyday, she spent two hours in prayer in the deserted parish Church. Steadfast Christian groups were active in Montluçon, organised by a Priest with a fervent heart, Father Guilhomet. Louise-Thérèse joined forces with him and agreed to lead the Congregation of the Children of Mary. She founded the Orphanage of the Sacred Heart and enlisted friends to teach Catechism to the most abandoned. Having witnessed the abandonment of Churches in the countryside, she established the Charity of Poor Churches, helped spread Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, organised retreats and endeavoured to develop her aunt’s project—the association of Christian women. Thanks to support from her Bishop, Bishop de Dreux-Brézé and from her parish Priest, these works spread in the Diocese of Moulins and beyond. However, at this time, the bone disease in her legs that Louise-Thérèse had been stricken with, returned. For more than thirty years, suffering became her “inseparable companion.” Handicapped, she could move only with crutches or transported in a little carriage. She needed all the energy of love to remain tirelessly devoted to others and to maintain the overflowing activity, that characterised her life.
In 1859, Mademoiselle de Montaignac met Father Gautrelet, a Jesuit, who in 1844 had founded the Apostolate of Prayer. Seeing his Seminarians’ impatience to enter missionary life, this Priest had told them: “Be apostles right now, apostles of prayer! Offer what you do each day in union with the Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ and for what He wants – the spread of the Kingdom of God for the salvation of souls.” A Priest with a great deal of experience, Father Gautrelet would be Louise-Thérèse’s adviser for more than twenty-five years. With humility, he admitted: “I have great confidence in the direction of the Holy Spirit, the first of all directors!” That same year, he put Louise-Thérèse in touch with his confrere, Father Ramière, who had just taken over the leadership of the Apostolate of Prayer. An ardent Apostle of the Sacred Heart, Father Ramière launched Louise-Thérèse full sail into this movement. Louise-Thérèse saw in this spirituality the “most universal means for the sanctification of souls,” and found his organisation to be “an excellent way to penetrate society.”
At the beginning of the 1860s, Louise-Thérèse began the construction of a beautiful Chapel in the heart of Montluçon, to “unceasingly remind us of the love of the heart of Jesus.” Dedicated on 31 May 1864, it would become the Chapel of the Mother house of the Association of Christian Women. The same year, an attempt was made to unite this organisation with the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart in Issoudun. But in 1874, the Association broke off and became the Pious Union of the Oblates of the Heart of Jesus, under its own rule approved by the Bishop of Moulins. These years were fruitful – the Christian women consecrated by vow to the Heart of Jesus, were growing in number. In December 1875, Louise-Thérèse was appointed secretary general of the Apostolate of Prayer. Her correspondence—more than 1800 letters have been preserved—testifies to the quality of these relationships. Very practical, she entered with her innate common sense into the most minute details of material life, the organisation of houses, health and quite naturally, with tact and discretion, she became a spiritual guide who taught how to live in the light of faith. Strong friendships, born from these exchanges, marked her life: “Saint Teresa of Avila,”she said, “greatly loved her friends and this has always encouraged me to warmly love my friends.”
In Montluçon, a small team surrounded Louise-Thérèse. These first companions led a common life of prayer and hospitality, for they received many individuals. The Chapel was a centre for retreats, for spiritual encounters. Thus a first community took shape. Soon, a House was founded in Paray-le-Monial, then another in Paris. At the start of the 1880s, the future face of the institute took shape—two different forms of the Oblation for women destined to serve God and neighbour were proposed. Some, married or not, would remain in their environment, harmonising their family obligations with quite varied forms of apostolate. They formed “Re-unions” in the true sense of the word: “re-uniting,” that is meeting again, in a group regularly to pray together and practice fraternal charity; these are secular oblates. The others made vows of religion, poverty, chastity and obedience, in accordance with Louise-Thérèse’s inspiration. These professed oblates lived in community in the Houses, which were houses of prayer, intended first and foremost for the revitalisation of the secular oblates. Each of the Houses took on one or more apostolates.
On 17 May 1880, Louise-Thérèse was elected Superior General. Her role was to ensure “unity of spirit and tendencies, freedom in works and deeds, whether collective or individual.” The oblates’ chapter defined the mission of the institute: “To unite souls strongly through the bond of a true devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, drawing them to prayer, reparation and devotion in union with Him and manifesting their love in the performance of works for His glory.” For the Foundress, devotion to the Heart of Jesus is a life of union and conformity with Him Who is eternal life which was with the Father (1 Jn. 1:2). “Our primary code of life,”she said, “is Jesus’ priestly Prayer,”which appears in Chapter 17 of Saint John’s Gospel: that they may be one even as we are one. On 4 October 1881, this mission was officially recognised by Pope Leo XIII. The communities multiplied: Lyon, Montélimar…
In the last years of her life, Louise-Thérèse experienced an even greater intimacy with Our Lord and grew in her service to others. Restricted to her chair or sickbed, she burned with a fervour more infectious than ever. “I am,” she gaily said, “like a young, frisky horse that has all four hooves tied down but is whipped to make it walk. … When I see all the work that Our Lord presents to me, I wish to do everything, to undertake everything.” In Montluçon, newcomers had taken the place of the workers of the first hour. Louise-Thérèse made formation of these daughters a priority, for they would have to pass on, that which they had received, as in a family.
Louise-Thérèse invites us to “an intimate communication, continual and full of love, with God, to a respectful and filial familiarity… God must be the breath of our soul, we must move and act only in Him…. True contemplation consists of having one’s mind and heart united with Jesus, speaking, acting, thinking like Him. What life could be more active and yet more contemplative than His? Always united to His Father, He is our model, our sole guide. Such are the fervent and energetic souls who are called to make the greatest progress in contemplative life. Such are the ones, who best carry out Our Lord’s plans. What is the use of contemplating a model, if one does not have the energy to reproduce it? The active soul acts on the fruit of one’s prayer, puts into action the lights it has received. It works in prayer, in humility, in devotion, in self-sacrifice. This is the true way of putting the life of Jesus into practice.” If someone close to her was a little stressed by external occupations, she would calm her: “You work for God, without doubt but one must work IN God.” The formation she gave was completely directed toward the freedom of love: “There is no barrier between Jesus and the oblate. Every soul goes where the Spirit leads it; Love is its only guide.” She also demanded that all be treated with respect, attention paid to each and to what God wanted of each. Returning to this humility that is the welcome of God, that He has a place for all, she noted, “Love dies where there is no humility.”
Christmas was a special time each year for Louise-Thérèse. In 1882, as this feast drew near, she invited the youngest of the oblates to follow “this little Child Who calls us to His crèche to lead us to Calvary where His Heart is always open.” And she vigorously insisted: “How could we resist Him? He shows Himself always to be the Saviour. Let us be it with Him as his littlest disciples.”This sums up Louise-Thérèse’s entire life. Struck by the person of Jesus in the mystery of His Incarnation, she handed herself over to Him so that He might live in her, so that He might continue His mission in her. By patiently enduring her intensely painful illness, which left her little respite, she united herself ever more closely with the Saviour’s Passion. “If You wish for me to continue to suffer, I will not complain,” she told Him in 1881. She nevertheless, had to undergo a night of the spirit: “I see nothing, I feel nothing. But I have faith in You and that is enough for me.” During the last hours of her life, she relied upon her Saviour: “I am counting on Divine Mercy, I will say: I have loved.” On 27 June 1885, she died as she was replying simply to the name of Jesus that someone close to her was saying: “My all!”
The institute soon saw a rapid expansion. The secular oblates’ first foundations were established abroad – Portugal (1887), El Salvador and Poland (1894) and Nicaragua (1903). Today, the institute is also established in Belgium, South America and Africa.
“Let us ask Blessed Louise-Thérèse of Montaignac de Chauvance to help us recognise the love of the Heart of Jesus and to remind men and women of it unceasingly, as she did so well during her life” (Saint John Paul II).
St Adeodato of Naples
St Aedh McLugack
St Anectus of Caesarea
St Arialdus of Milan
St Arianell of Wales
Bl Benvenutus of Gubbio
St Crescens of Galatia
St Crescentius of Mainz
Bl Daniel of Schönau
Bl Davanzato of Poggibonsi
St Desideratus of Gourdon
St Felix of Rome
St Ferdinand of Aragon
St Gudene of Carthage
Blessed Maria Pia Mastena
St Sampson of Constantinople
St Spinella of Rome
St Tôma Toán
St Zoilus of Cordoba
Martyrs Killed Under Communist Regimes in Eastern Europe: Among the thousands of Christians murdered by various Communist regimes in their hatred of the faith, there were 25 members of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and Russian Byzantine Catholic Church, priests, bishops, sisters and lay people, whose stories are sufficiently well documented that we know they were murdered specifically for their faith in eastern Europe and whose Causes for Canonization were opened. Their Causes were combined and they were beatified together. They have separate memorials but are remembered together today. They are –
• Andrii Ischak • Hryhorii Khomyshyn • Hryhorii Lakota • Ivan Sleziuk • Ivan Ziatyk • Klymentii Sheptytskyi • Leonid Feodorov • Levkadia Harasymiv • Mykola Konrad • Mykola Tsehelskyi • Mykolai Charnetskyi • Mykyta Budka • Oleksa Zarytskyi • Ol’Ha Bida • Ol’Ha Matskiv • Petro Verhun • Roman Lysko • Stepan Baranyk • Symeon Lukach • Vasyl Vsevolod Velychkovskyi • Volodomyr Bairak • Volodymyr Ivanovych Pryima • Yakym Senkivsky • Yosafat Kotsylovskyi • Zenon Kovalyk
Beatified – 27 June 2001 by Pope John Paul II in Ukraine
Thought for the Day – 26 June – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Four Ends of the Holy Mass
“Let us meditate on the fact, that the Sacrifice of the Eucharist, was instituted for four ends, namely:
1. TO HONOUR GOD
All the Angels and Saints of Heaven and all the human beings upon earth, could not possibly honour God, as He ought to be honoured because, they are creatures who derive everything which they possess from God.
Only Jesus the God-Man, could offer the Eternal Father, the infinite honour due to Him, by offering Himself.
2. TO MAKE ADEQUATE SATISFACTION FOR ALL OUR SINS
Insofar, as they are a revolt against God, our sins are, in a certain way, infinite.
This is because they offend an Infinite Being.
Only Jesus, being at the same time man and God, could offer for us, His brothers, an infinite satisfaction to the Eternal Father.
Only He, could redeem us from the debt of crime and punishment, which we had contracted, by offering Himself, without reserve, in the Eucharistic Sacrifice.
It must be explained, however, that although the Mass is of infinite value in itself, God applies this value to us in a finite way only, according to His good pleasure and according to our dispositions.
For this reason, we should do well to attend Mass, as often as possible and with the maximum fervour.
3. TO GIVE THANKSGIVING TO GOD for all the benefits which we have received from Him.
4. Finally, TO OBTAIN ALL THE GRACES AND FAVOURS of which we and other people stand in need.
The Mass is an extraordinary gift.
Let us attend at Mass with recollection and devotion.
It will be for us, the source of every grace and virtue!”
Quote/s of the Day – 26 June – Tthe Memorial of Blessed Jacques Ghazir Haddad OFM Cap (1875-1954) “The Apostle of Lebanon” “The Apostle of the Cross”
“… Just as a person, who denies a single point of dogma, has lost his faith, so, to hate a single person, means that you have lost charity.”
“The Holy Spirit gives his grace to everyone, as long as they do not refuse it.”
“God gives us an example. He makes His sun rise on good and evil alike. His Son died for all men and women. … Let us imitate the sun.”
“Let us imitate the fountain. It does not say to a thirsty man: Before I give you a drink, tell me what country you come from!”
“May our heart be gentle, Christ‐like, towards the wretched and those who suffer. May they be to us, sons and daughters. How sweet this service, how precious this life, when it is consecrated to the love of God and of neighbour, His visible image on earth.”
One Minute Reflection – 26 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Friday of the Twelfth week in Ordinary Time, Year A, Readings 2 Kings 25:1-12, Psalm 137:1-6, Matthew 8:1-4 and the Memorial of Blessed Andrea Giacinto Longhin OFM.Cap (1863 – 1936) Bishop
“Then Jesus said to him, ‘See that you tell no-one but go show yourself to the priest and offer the gift that Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them.’” … Matthew 8:4
REFLECTION – “What then was the gift that was to be brought by the leper according to the law? “Two small birds,” one of which the priest killed “over running water.” Taking “cedar wood and broken scarlet and hyssop” and the living bird, he dipped them “in the blood of the slain bird, over running water.” He anointed the right ear, hand and foot of the leper who was cleansed. He sent the living bird outside the city, “into the open field.”
Observe, therefore, how perfectly Christ depicts these things for us. By the living bird you may understand the living, heavenly Word.
By the blood of the slain bird, you should understand the blood of our suffering Lord, for whom, we say, that He suffered “in the flesh,” rather than “in his own body.”
The cedar is a wood not prone to rot. The incorruptible flesh, the body of Christ, “did not see corruption.”
Hyssop symbolises the effervescence, activity and power of the Spirit.
Scarlet intends the confession of the covenant made with blood.
The running water signifies the life-creating gift of baptism.
Through this baptism, whoever has become a leper through sin may be cleansed.
The sending of the living bird outside of the city teaches us to abandon this world, as did Christ in His ascension into heaven.
Having thus come into the presence of God the Father, He makes intercession for all of us and we, therefore, shall be cleansed.
By the anointing of the leper’s right ear, hand and foot, we are taught that we must be, in contemplation and in action and in our way of life, in touch with divine things.” … St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Father known as “The Pillar of the Faith” Doctor of the Incarnation (Fragment 93)
PRAYER – Enable me loving Father, to live a life of purity that will make me live in You. Let me be so united with You that whatever I might ask will be in total accord with Your will for me. Bl Andrea Giacinto Longhin, your tireless work and preaching for the glory of the Kingdom show us the way to sanctification, please intercede for us all. May Mary our Mother of Compassion, be our constant companion. We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, one God for all eternity, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 26 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Friday of the Twelfth week in Ordinary Time
Hail, Sacred Heart of Jesus! By St Gertrude the Great (1256-1302)
Hail, Sacred Heart of Jesus,
living and strengthening
source of eternal life,
infinite treasury of the divinity,
burning furnace of divine love!
You are my refuge
and my sanctuary.
My loving Saviour,
consume my heart
in that burning fire
with which Your own is inflamed.
Pour into my soul
those graces which flow
from Your love.
Let my heart be so united with Yours
that our wills may be one
and my will, in all things,
conformed with Yours.
May Your Will be the guide
and rule of my desires
and of my actions.
Saint of the Day – 26 June – Blessed Andrea Giacinto Longhin OFM.Cap (1863 – 1936) Bishop of Treviso, Italy from 1904 until his death, Priest of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin, Teacher, renowned Preacher, Reformer, Spiritual guide, Apostolic Visitor – born as Hyacinth Bonaventure Longhin on 23 November 1863 in Fiumicello di Campodarsego, Province and Diocese of Padua, Italy and died on Friday 26 June 1936 in Treviso, Italy of natural causes following an eight-month illness. Patronage – Diocese of Treviso.
Blessed Andrea held various roles of leadership within his Order following his Ordination such as acting as a Professor in Udine and acting as the Provincial Minister for his Order. He became close friends with the Patriarch of Venice, Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto. The latter became Pope Pius X in 1903 who made his old friend Andrea, the new Bishop for the vacant Treviso episcopal see.
The Bishop became noted for his devotion to pastoral reform initiatives, that sought to strengthen the spiritual formation for Seminarians and ongoing formation for the Diocesan Priests. He was active in organising and collaborating in relief initiatives during World War I and was even awarded the Cross of Merit for his activism.
Bishop Andrea Longhin, a Capuchin religious of deep spirituality and solid doctrine, was a gift of Pope Pius X to the Diocese of Treviso, his place of origin. Together with the Church entrusted to him, he lived heroically in one of the most difficult and exciting times of Catholicism in Italy in the 19th and 20th centuries.
He was born on 23rd November 1863 in Fiumicello di Campodarsego (Province and Diocese of Padua) into the family of the poor and very religious tenant farmers, Matthew and Judith Marin and given the names Hyacinth Bonaventure at his Baptism. Early on, he showed signs of a vocation to the Priesthood and religious life. At the age of 16 he entered the novitiate of the Capuchin Order under the name of Andrea of Campodarsego and then completed his humanistic studies in Padua and the theological studies in Venice. On 19th June 1886, only 23 years old, he was Ordained a Priest. For 18 years he held the office of spiritual director and instructor of the young religious and proved himself a firm guide and an enlightened teacher. In 1902 he was elected Provincial Minister of the Capuchins of Venice. In this period at Venice the Patriarch Sarto “discovered” him and charged him with the ministry of preaching and a variety of delicate tasks in the service of the Diocese.
Just a few months after becoming Pope, Pius X on 13th April 1904, personally appointed Fr Andrea as Bishop of Treviso and wanted him to be Consecrated in Rome. The Consecration, by Cardinal Rafael Merry del Val, took place a few days later in the Church of Trinità dei Monti in Rome. Before the new shepherd moved into his Diocese on the following 6th August, he had issued two pastoral letters that outlined his reform programme. The following year he began his first pastoral visit which lasted almost five years – he wanted to know his church, which belongs to the largest and most peopled of the Venetian region; he wanted to establish a personal contact with his clergy, who would take first place in his pastoral care; he also intended to be close to the lay associations, which at the time, were exposed to severe trials in the field of the Catholic social movement. He concluded the visit with the celebration of the Synod, which had, as it’s aim, the implementation in the Diocese, the reforms initiated by Pius X, to equip the local church to be “militant” and to call all, clergy and lay people, to a life in holiness.
He reformed the Diocesan Seminary by improving the quality of studies and the spiritual formation. He promoted spiritual retreats for the clergy and prepared, every year personally, a programme of ongoing formation. He guided the Priests in their pastoral activity with precise guidelines and verified their application in three further pastoral visits.
At the outbreak of the First World War (1915-1918), Treviso was on the frontline; it suffered invasions and the first aerial attacks, which destroyed the town and over 50 parishes. Bishop Longhin remained at his post even when the civilian authorities escaped to safer places. He wanted his Priests to do the same, unless they had to accompany their people on flight. He led the destiny of the town with heroic courage, was the point of reference in religious, moral and civilian matters for a whole community in turmoil. He organised assistance for the soldiers, the sick and the poor. Encouraging everybody, he never fell prey to partisanship or war rhetoric, yet he was accused of defeatism and some of his Priests were tried in court and sentenced.
In the difficult years of the material and spiritual reconstruction, the Bishop resumed the second pastoral visit which had been interrupted. He was a firm leader at a time of grave social tensions, which divided the Catholics among themselves. He insisted, with evangelical firmness, that justice and social peace, demanded the straight road of non-violence and the unity of all Catholics. The fascist movement was growing at the time and had its instances of violence in Treviso, especially against Catholic organisations. From 1926 to 1934 Bishop Longhin made his third pastoral visit, to strengthen the faith of the parish communities – in his understanding, the militant Church was a Church fully geared towards holiness and prepared for martyrdom!
Pope Pius XI held Bishop Longhin in great esteem; he entrusted him with the delicate task of Apostolic Visitor, first in Padua, then in Udine, in order to bring back peace to those Dioceses, suffering from divisions between the Priests and their Bishop.
God wanted to purify his faithful servant and afflicted him with an illness that deprived him progressively of his mental faculties. Longhin endured his suffering with extraordinary faith and total abandonment into the will of God. He died on 26th June 1936. His remains are interred in the Cathedral of Treviso.
He had been known for his holiness, his heroic charity and his wise evangelical guidance when still alive. With his death the devotion to the saintly shepherd grew stronger and quickly spread, especially in the Dioceses of Treviso and Padua and also in the Capuchin Order. The devotion exalted his virtues and implored his intercession. The process of Beatification was introduced in 1964. In the same year the young Dino Stella was cured of diffuse peritonitis on the intercession of Longhin. It is this miracle that was recognised for his Beatification.
His spiritual Heritage:
The unique connection of Bishop Andrea Giacinto Longhin with St Pope Pius X, was fundamentally of spiritual nature – the holiness of one, reminds and, in a way, produces the holiness of the other. Both have lived for the Church and with the Church, conceiving the pastoral ministry as a formation to holiness and, the whole life of the Church, as a call to be “holy and immaculate.” Both were driven to make themselves “models of the flock” in the footsteps of Christ the Good Shepherd. Bishop Longhin identified himself with his Church to the point of taking up the burden of all vicissitudes of history, living them in the first person and paying the price for so doing.
Franciscan spirituality, in the rigorous form of the Capuchin Order, always guided Bishop Longhin, not only in a his life that was ascetical, exacting and faithfully observant (prayer and penitence) but also, in an evangelical commitment without compromise – God as the Supreme, “religious” obedience towards the Church, poverty lived as freedom, respect for all things of the world.
His reform efforts brought him also cross and suffering, from the part of the clergy that was not willing to follow him on the path of renewal, as well as, from the laity that was either fixed on their material interests or taking sides with partisan positions. He was opposed by Fascism, which preferred to avenge itself on the Priests and the organised laity, thus inflicting on the pastor greater pain than if it had turned against his person. Right until his end, he remained the leader of a militant church that did not give in, neither to violence nor to flattery. In his charity, which he exercised with extraordinary dedication, he showed no weakness, being convinced that charity always called for truth. In him, firmness and humility appeared wonderfully united. The fruit of his testimony of holiness and of his courageous pastoral leadership, is the fact, that the church of Treviso, in that period of it’s history, has produced numerous saints among the Priests, religious and laity. Praise be to God! Amen … Vatican.va
St Pope John Paul II Beatified Andrea Longhin on 20 Octoer 2002 in Saint Peter’s Square.
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