Thought for the Day – 5 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Sacred Heart and the Holy Viaticum
“The infinite love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus accompanies us through life. Our Lord loved us so much, that He gave His life for us – there could not possibly be any greater love than this. “Greater love than this no-one has, that one lay down his life for his friends” (Jn 15:13). The Heart of Jesus beats for us continually and His gaze follows us everywhere, especially when we are in danger or in temptation.
Since Jesus loved us so much, that He died for us, it is incredible that He would ever abandon us. Even though He is now happy and beyond suffering in Heaven, He still loves us dearly. But if the Sacred Heart enfolds us now in a close embrace of love, He will certainly protect us in a very special manner at the moment of death, that moment on which, depends an eternity of joy or of suffering.
Let us reflect on what happened when Jesus was hanging upon the Cross. He gave us all His love and all His Precious Blood and, with His dying breath, He gave us the last treasure He possessed, His Blessed Mother. Omnipotent though He was, He could not give us anything more. He had exhausted His infinite love, giving us, not merely all that He possessed but, giving us Himself also.
One of the thieves who was being crucified along with Him, turned towards Him, a look of repentance and of supplication. His Heart was filled with love and mercy and He said to the penitent thief: “This day, thou shalt be with me in paradise” (Lk 23:43). These are comforting words. Someday we also shall be in agony and shall turn to Jesus in our final hour. Then Jesus, in the Blessed Eucharist, will come to us for the last time. Let us pray earnestly that the Viaticum may bring us the same consolation which the words of Jesus gave to the good thief: “This day, thou shalt be with me in paradise!”
Quote/s of the Day – 5 June – The Memorial of St Boniface (c 672-754) “The Apostle of Germany” – Martyr
Let us listen to these very appropriate quotes for our times!
“In her voyage across the ocean of this world, the Church is like a great ship being pounded by the waves of life’s different stresses. Our duty is not to abandon ship but to keep her on her course.”
“Let us stand fast in what is right and prepare our souls for trial. Let us wait upon God’s strengthening aid and say to Him: “O Lord, you have been our refuge in all generations.” Let us trust in Him who has placed this burden upon us. What we ourselves cannot bear, let us bear with the help of Christ. For He is all-powerful and He tells us: “My yoke is easy and my burden light.” Let us continue the fight on the day of the Lord. The days of anguish and of tribulation have overtaken us! if God so wills, “let us die for the holy laws of our fathers”, so that we may deserve to obtain an eternal inheritance with them. Let us be neither dogs that do not bark nor silent onlookers nor paid servants who run away before the wolf. Instead let us be careful shepherds watching over Christ’s flock. Let us preach the whole of God’s plan to the powerful and to the humble, to rich and to poor, to men of every rank and age, as far as God gives us the strength, in season and out of season.”
“Let us pray the gracious Defender of our life, the only sure refuge of those in trouble, that His right hand may keep us safe amidst these dens of wolves and, that He may guard us from harm, so that the footsteps of apostates walking in darkness may not be found, where should be the beautiful feet of those who carry the peaceful light of the Gospel but, that the most gracious Father and God may help us to gird up our loins, with bright candles in our hands and that He may enlighten the hearts of the heathen to gaze at the glorious Gospel of Christ. Amen”
One Minute Reflection – 5 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Friday of the Ninth week in Ordinary Time, Readings: 2 Timothy 3:10-17, Psalm 119:157, 160-161, 165-166, 168, Mark 12:35-37 and the Memorial of St Boniface (672-754) “The Apostle of Germany” – Martyr and Bl Malgorzata Szewczyk (1828-1905)
David himself calls him ‘lord.’ … Mark 12:37
REFLECTION – “Be mindful of the mystery of Christ! Born from the Virgin’s womb, both Servant and Lord – Servant to set to work, Lord to command so that He might plant a Kingdom for God in people’s hearts. Twofold in origin but one in nature, He is not one thing when He comes from the Father, another when He comes from the Virgin. He is the very same, the one born of the Father before all ages and who has taken flesh of the Virgin in the course of time. And that is why He is named both Servant and Lord – Servant with respect to us but, due to the unity of the divine substance, God from God, Principle from Principle, Son equal in all things to the Father who is His equal. For the Father has not begotten a Son different to Himself – the Son of whom He asserted: “In him I am well pleased” (Mt 3:17) (…)
In every respect the Servant preserves His titles of dignity. God is great and the Servant is also great – when He came in the flesh He did not lose this “greatness that has no limit” (Ps 145:3) … “Though he was in the form of God he did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave” (Phil 2:6-7) … Therefore, as Son of God He is equal to God, He took the form of a slave by becoming incarnate, He whose greatness has no limit “tasted death” (Heb 2:9) (…)
How good is the condition of the Servant who has set us all free! Yes, how good it is! It won for Him “the name which is above all other names!” How good that humility is! It was through it that, “at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father” (Phil 2:10-11).” … St Ambrose (c 340-397) Father and Doctor of the Church – Sermon on Psalm 36:4-5
PRAYER – Lord, Your martyr Boniface, spread the faith by his teaching and witnessed to it with his blood. Grant we pray, that the name of our Lord and God, Your divine Son, may be ever on our lips and in our hearts. May we bow in worship to our Lord Jesus now and forever, amen! By the help of the prayers of St Boniface and Bl Malgorzata Szewczyk, grant that we may be ever loyal to our faith and grant us the courage to profess it in our lives. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 5 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Friday of the Ninth week in Ordinary Time
O Heart of Jesus, All Love By St John Henry Newman (1801-1890)
O Heart of Jesus all love,
I offer You these humble prayers for myself
and for all those,
who unite themselves with me in spirit to adore You.
O holiest Heart of Jesus most lovely,
I intend to renew and to offer to You,
these acts of adoration and these prayers,
for myself, a wretched sinner
and for all those, who are associated with me
in Your adoration,
through all moments which I breath,
even to the end of my life.
I recommend to You, O my Jesus,
Holy Church, Your dear spouse
and our true Mother,
all just souls and all poor sinners,
the afflicted, the dying and all mankind.
Let not Your Blood be shed for them in vain.
Finally, deign to apply it in relief
of the souls in Purgatory
and of these in particular
Saint of the Day – 5 June – Blessed Malgorzata Szewczyk (1828-1905). She was called “an Angel of Kindness”– Religious and Founder of the Daughters of the Sorrowful Mother of God, known commonly as the “Seraphic Sisters,” Apostle of Mercy and Charity to the poor, needy, homeless, the sick and orphans – born as Łucja Szewczyk in 1828 in Szepetówka, Khmelnytskyi, Ukraine and died on 5 June 1905 in Nieszawa, Aleksandrów, Poland. Patronage – the Seraphic Sisters.
Łucja Szewczyk was born in 1828 in a noble family in Volhynia. Orphaned at an early age, she was cared for by her half-sister. In the difficult situation of partitions and persecution of the Church at the age of 20, she made her tertiary profession in the Third Order of St Francis. She learned to love “love who is not loved” from the poor man from Assisi.
At the age of 42, together with another tertiary she went on a dangerous journey to the Holy Land. She went all the way to Odessa on foot. There she boarded a ship that sailed to her dream destination. In Jerusalem, she worked at St Joseph’s Hospital alongside French nuns. During her three-year stay in the land of Jesus, she surrendered her life to Our Lady of Sorrows. Here, in the footsteps of the Lord, she discovered her calling – she wished to live “for the glory of God and for the good of suffering humanity.”
After returning from the Holy Land and Loreto, in 1880, she went to Zakroczym near Warsaw. On the advice of Father Honorat Koźmiński, who became her Spiritual Director, the first step she took was to invite two poor and sick elderly women to live in her apartment. According to her memoirs, she carried two elderly women on her own back, whom she cared for. She took care of them in secret, because charitable or church activities were forbidden, according to the decrees of the Russian Emperor, who at the time ruled over Poland. When taking her Franciscan vows, in addition to obedience, poverty and chastity, she took a vow pledging mercy to the needy. Father Honoratwrote: “Łucja felt a desire to devote herself to the misery of the poor … She found paupers and devoted herself to them with a strange passion…. Encouraged by her example, pious people began to join her. … God blessed her.”
Later to accommodate the growing number and better serve those in need, she decided to purchase a new house with a garden. On the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows – on 8 April 1881, she founded a new Congregation, initially under the name of the Sisters of the Poor. Father Honorat chose their Superior, Łucja, who took the name Małgorzata. For the first 10 years, the sisters operated in the Russian partition in a hidden way. Mother Małgorzata opened houses in Warsaw and Częstochowa. In 1891 she went to Galicia, where there was greater religious freedom. She founded a religious house in Hałcnów. The Congregation adopted Franciscan habits and a new name: Daughters of Our Lady of Sorrows.
A year later, the construction of the Monastery in Oświęcim began, which became the Motherhouse of the “Seraphic Sisters.” The sisters created an orphanage for children, a shelter for sick and abandoned old men, a tailoring and embroidery workshop for girls. There was also an orphanage in Żywiec, a religious institution in Wielka Wieś (teaching), in Przemyśl (to serve in a local hospital), Stryj and Frydrychowice (orphanages for children, a shelter for the elderly), Siemiechów (teaching), Przemyślany (hospital ministry), Drohobych (orphanage, orphanage), in Mogila near Kraków (teaching in elementary school) and Jarosław (hospital ministry). Mother Małgorzata, by her example, encouraged the sisters, by using the sick and neglected, to reach their souls and to preserve the “holy virtue of poverty.”
In 1904, after twenty-three years, Mother Małgorzata, “burdened with age and physical weaknesses,” she resigned from the post of Superior General. She went to Nieszawa, a branch which at that time was the only one operating within the Russian partition. She became a “little” sister again. She continued to serve the needy and, toward the end of her life, offered her suffering for their intentions.
The inhabitants of Nieszawa called their Mother Małgorzata “an Angel of Kindness.” She spent the last months of her life “praying constantly.” She died on 5 June 1905. Crowds of people attended her funeral in 1905. The “mother of the poor and orphaned” was beatified on 9 June 2013 in Krakow, where the Motherhouse of the congregation she founded is currently located, at 3 Łowiecka.
In 1931, her remains were moved from Nieszawa to the cemetery chapel in Oświęcim and in 1951 – to the local church which she, herself had built.
Mother Małgorzata makes us careful not to pass by a person who may not seem in need but suffers from loneliness, rejection and ill health. It is not enough to secure someone materially or give him professional help. One must first see a person, a human being, because human suffering has a specific face.
Bl Małgorzata ‘s Order now operates in places such as Belarus and France and in 2005 had 679 religious in 76 houses. The Order received the Papal Decree of praise from Pope Pius X on 12 February 1909 and full pontifical approval from Pope Pius XII on 3 March 1953. At some stage the order was aggregated to the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin.
Bl Małgorzata was Beatified on 9 June 2013, Sanktuarium Bożego Miłosierdzia, Kraków, Poland by Cardinal Angelo Amato.
St Adalar of Erfurt
Bl Adalbert Radiouski
Bl Adam Arakawa
St Austrebertus of Vienne
St Claudius of Egypt and Companions
St Ðaminh Huyen
St Ðaminh Toai
St Dorotheus of Tyre
St Eoban of Utrecht
St Eutichius of Como
St Evasius of Africa
St Felix of Fritzlar
Bl Ferdinand of Portugal
St Franco of Assergi
St Genesius, Count of Clermont
St Gregory of Lilybaeum
St Luke Loan Blessed Malgorzata Lucja Szewczyk (1828-1905)
Bl Meinwerk of Paderborn
St Privatus of Africa
St Sanctius of Córdoba
St Tudno of Caernarvon
Martyrs of Caesarea:
A group of Christians who converted together, were imprisoned together, tortured together, and martyred together. We know nothing more about them but their names – Cyria, Marcia, Valeria and Zenaides.
Caesarea, Palestine, date unknown.
Martyrs of Egypt:
A group of Christians martyred together in the persecutions of Galerius Maximian. The only other information was have is three of their names – Apollonius, Marcian and Nicanor.
in Egypt, date unknown.
Martyrs of Perugia:
A group of Christians martyred together in the persecutions of Decius. We know little more than their names – Cyriacus, Faustinus, Florentius, Julian and Marcellinus.
beheaded in 250 in Perugia, Italy
Martyrs of Rome:
26 Christians martyred together. We have no details about them but their names – Candida, Castula, Fappa, Felician, Felicitas (2 of), Felicula, Fortunatus, Gagus, Gregor, Hilarius, Ingenuus, Juliana, Martialis, Maurus, Mustilus, Nicander, Prima, Rogata, Rutianus, Sacrinus, Saturnin, Secundian, Secundus, Urbicus, Victurus.
• Rome, Italy, date unknown
• relics transferred to Antwerp, Belgium, date unknown