Novena in Honour of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Day Four – 13 June
How Do We Look at Each Other?
Today’s Scripture Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, ‘You lack one thing; go, sell what you own and give the money to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.’ When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions. … Mark 10: 21-22
Reflection for the Fourth Day
A Dominican theologian once wrote, ‘A person is enlightened not when they get an idea but when someone looks at them.’ How we look at another has tremendous consequences for self-esteem. The Sacred Heart looks at each one of us with deep love, understanding and compassion. We are called to look at others in the same way.
You looked at the rich young man with love
and yet, he could not respond to Your call.
Help our prayer, to become,
our looking at You looking at us
and smiling with love,
so that we will not run
from the love that You offer.
Daily Invocation Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in You.
the needs of Your people open Your heart in love for each of us.
You care for us when we are lost,
sympathise with us in loneliness
and comfort us in mourning;
You are closest to us where we are weakest.
You love us most, when we love ourselves least;
You forgive us mos, when we forgive ourselves least
and You call us to spread Your love in whatever way we can.
Lord Jesus, Your heart is moved with compassion
when we are suffering,
when we need your help
and when we pray for each other.
I ask You to listen to my prayer during this Novena
and grant what I ask.
…………………………. (Mention your intention silently.)
If what I ask, is not for my own good and the good of others,
grant me what is best,
that I may build up Your kingdom of love in our world.
Thought for the Day – 13 June – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“St Anthony of Padua was not born a saint but he became one as the result of prayer, self-denial and penance, which attracted to him, God’s many graces.
On a summer evening in the year 1219, five mendicant friars arrived at the gate of the ancient Abbey of Coimbra, asking for hospitality from the Canons Regular of St Augustine.
They received a whole-hearted welcome.
When they had refreshed themselves, they revealed that they belonged to the new Religious Family founded by St Francis of Assisi.
They said that they hoped to reach Morocco, in order to convert the Saracens and, if it was God’s pleasure, to receive the palm of Martyrdom.
Amongst the Canons Regular, who were listening to them, was the youthful Anthony, who had already consecrated his life to God.
Not long afterwards, this little band of Franciscan Missionaries, was cut down by the scimitars of the infidels and became a glorious band of Martyrs.
Their bodies were brought back in triumph to the Abbey which they had visited and there they were buried with great honour.
When they were going away, Anthony had listened enthusiastically to all that they had said and felt a noble envy.
Now that he was in the presence of their hallowed remains, he experienced an urge to follow in their footsteps.
St Anthony joined the Franciscan Order and joyfully set off for the coast of Morocco in search of Missionary labour and of Martyrdom.
But, when he landed on African soil, he was struck down by a serious attack of malaria, which compelled him to return to his native land.
There is no foreseeing the designs of Divine Providence.
The boat in which Anthony was travelling was battered by a tempest and had to go ashore in Italy.
Henceforward, Italy was Anthony’s second fatherland.
It was here, that he conducted his remarkable and fruitful apostolate and slowly accomplished his Martyrdom, by the daily struggle for perfection.
This, is a headline for us!
We may not have been called to go and spread the faith amongst the infidels, at the risk of Martyrdom.
But, we have all been called to a state of holiness.
Perfection, moreover, is a gradual Martyrdom.
The heroic daily effort which is required to abstain from sin and to overcome the wayward tendencies of our nature, can fairly be said, to be, no less difficult, than a bloody Martyrdom.
This is the kind of Martyrdom which we must all endure.
St Anthony of Padua, will obtain for us the grace, to undergo it with the same generosity and constancy, which he displayed.”
Quote/s of the Day – 13 June – The Memorial of St Anthony of Padua (1195-1231) Evangelical Doctor of the Church
“Damned money! Alas! … Money is the ‘droppings of birds’ that blinded the eyes of Tobit.”
“Christ, who is your life, is hanging before you, so that you may look at the Cross, as in a mirror. There you will be able to know, how mortal were your wounds, that no medicine other, than the Blood of the Son of God, could heal. If you look closely, you will be able to realise, how great your human dignity and your value are…. Nowhere other than looking at himself, in the mirror of the Cross, can man better understand how much he is worth”
(Sermones Dominicales et Festivi III, pp. 213-214)
“The devil is afraid of us when we pray and make sacrifices. He is also afraid when we are humble and good. He is especially afraid when we love Jesus very much. He runs away when we make the Sign of the Cross.”
“The spirit of humility is sweeter than honey and those, who nourish themselves with this honey produce sweet fruit.”
The Praises of Mary “Assumption” Poem by Saint Anthony
O how wondrous is the dignity of the glorious Virgin! She merited to become the mother of Him who is the strength and beauty of the angels and the grandeur of all the saints.
Mary was the seat of our sanctification, that is to say, the dwelling place of the Son who sacrificed Himself for us.
“And I shall glorify the place where my feet have stood.” The feet of the Saviour signify His human nature. The place where the feet of the Saviour stood was the Blessed Mary, who gave Him His human nature.
Today the Lord glorifies that place, since He has exalted Mary above the choirs of the angels. That is to say, the Blessed Virgin, who was the dwelling of the Saviour, has been assumed bodily into heaven.
St Anthony of Padua (1195-1231)
Evangelical Doctor of the Church
One Minute Reflection – 13 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Saturday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time, Year A, Readings: 1 Kings 19:19-21, Psalm 16:1-2, 5, 7-10, Matthew 5:33-37 and the Memorial of St Anthony of Padua (1195-1231) Doctor of the Church
“Do not swear by your head, for you cannot make a single hair white or black.” … Matthew 5:36
REFLECTION – “These words of the Lord whereby He forbids us to swear by these different elements, invites a double explanation. Firstly, He wanted to draw us away from the use of oaths and the customs of human error, lest each of us through swearing by these elements, accord a creature the honour of divine veneration or, believe one has impunity in swearing falsely, if one swears by the elements of the world.
It can also be explained in this way – When one swears by heaven and earth, one swears by Him who made heaven and earth, as the Lord Himself declared elsewhere: “He who swears by the altar, swears by it and by all things that are on it and, he who swears by the temple, swears by it and by him who dwells in it.” Jesus goes on to say, “nor by Jerusalem,” for it is the city of the great King, that is, the symbol of Christ’s body, which is the spiritual and heavenly church. “Neither shall you swear,” he says, “by your head,” for according to the apostle, “the head of every man is Christ.” Therefore, the one who swears by these things makes reference to Him who is the author of all these things.” … St Chromatius of Aquileia (Died 407) Bishop, Theologian, Defender of the Faith against Arianism, Friend and supporter of St Jerome, St John Chrysostom, St Ambrose – Tractate on Matthew 24)
PRAYER – Almighty, everliving God, You gave St Anthony of Padua to Your people as a preacher and teacher and a patron in their needs. Grant that we may learn from his words inspired by Your Holy Spirit and by his prayers, grow in faith, hope and humility. We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all-glorious God, now and forever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 13 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Saturday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time, Year A
Lord, Give Me Your Heart By St Claude de la Colombiere SJ (1641-1682) Apostle of Devotion to the Sacred Heart and Spiritual Director to St Margaret Mary Alacoque
O God, what will You do to conquer
the fearful hardness of our hearts?
Lord, You must give us new hearts,
tender hearts, sensitive hearts,
to replace hearts that are made
of marble and of bronze.
You must give us Your own Heart, Jesus.
Come, lovable Heart of Jesus.
Place Your Heart deep
in the centre of our hearts
and enkindle in each heart
a flame of love as strong,
as great, as the sum of all the reasons
that we have for loving You, my God.
O holy Heart of Jesus,
dwell hidden in our hearts,
so that we may live only in You
and only for You,
so that, in the end, we may live
with You eternally in heaven.
Saint of the Day – 13 June – Blessed Marianna Biernacka (1888-1943) Martyr, Laywoman, Mother, Grandmother, Widow – Born as Marianna Czokala in 1888 in Lipsk, Podlaskie, Poland and died by being shot by firing squad on 13 June 1943 in Naumovichi (aka Naumowicze), Belarus. She was 54-55. She is also remembered on 12 June as one of the 108 Martyrs of World War II.
Blessed Marianna Biernacka is described, in many reports, as leading a “simple” life. But it’s my experience that there are really no simple lives. Marianna knew heartbreak. She knew fear. She knew backbreaking work. She knew loss. And she knew God’s love.
Marianna was born in 1888. At the age of twenty she married a local man, Louis Biernacki. Together, they had six children, four of whom died shortly after birth. The only source of survival for the family was their family farm.
After the death of Louis in 1929, Marianna lived with her son Stanislaw. Stanislaw eventually married a young woman, Anna Szymczyk and they all lived together. Prayer and song were a large part of their lives. Soon after the couple were married, the two had a daughter.
Bishop Jerzy Mazur, Bishop of Elk, said on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the death of Bl Marianna Biernacka that “Staring at her ordinary life, we see that it was imbued with faith, love, prayer, work and suffering. Each day began with prayer and common singing Hours. Everyday life was filled with a difficult job in summer in a field and in winter, spun flax and hemp and weaving on a loom. Recitation of the Rosary prayer and devotional singing songs allowed the dignity to endure the pain of bereavement, hard work and daily poverty.”
In 1939, the Nazis invaded Poland. To understand, the Nazi occupation of Poland is to label it as one of the worst and most brutal genocides in the history of the world. Adolf Hitler himself is reported to have authorised his commanders to kill “without pity or mercy, all men, women and children of Polish decent or language.” When a German soldier was killed by any resistance, the Gestapo made it a practice to round up a large number of Polish civilians randomly and kill them in retaliation. It was just such an incident that brought the Nazis to the door of Marianna Biernacka.
In July of 1943, the Nazis arrested many people in and around the city of Lipsk as retribution for a German killed by the resistance. Randomly, Stanislaw Biernacka, along with his pregnant wife Anna, were selected to be killed. Nobody believed they had anything to do with the resistance but they were to be killed for events outside of their control. When the armed soldiers came to arrest them, Stanislaw’s mother, Marianna, reportedly dropped to her knees and begged the Nazis to take her instead of Anna.
“She is already in the last weeks of her pregnancy,” she pleaded. “I will go for her.”Her daughter-in-law begged her not to make this sacrifice but Marianna insisted, reportedly saying “You are young, you must live.”As the Nazis didn’t particularly care who they killed, as they were simply filling a quota, so they took Marianna and her son instead of the pregnant Anna.
The Nazis took Marianna and her son to the prison in Grodno. While in the prison, she only requested a pillow and a rosary. After two weeks in prison in which she spent much of her time praying, Marianna was shot and killed on 13 July 1943 in Naumowicze along with her son. Their bodies were thrown into a common grave.
Around that time, Anna gave birth to a son. She named his Stanislaw.
On 13 June 1999, Marianna was Beatified and recognised as a Martyr, along with 107 other victims, by Pope John Paul II. The liturgical feast day of the 108 Martyrs of World War II is June 12.
Sadly, the child, Stanislaw, only lived for about a year, according to reports. Anna lived to age 98 and her daughter, Eugenia, still lives in the family home, according to some Polish websites. She said that her mother, Anna, would often say that she had been given life twice. Once by her own mother and then from her mother-in-law.
Bl Achilleo of Alexandria
Bl Alfonso Gomez de Encinas
Bl Anthony of Ilbenstadt
St Aquilina of Syria
St Augustine Phan Viet Huy
St Aventino of Arbusto
St Diodorus of Emesa
St Eulogius of Alexandria
St Fandilas of Penamelaria
St Felicula of Rome
St Fortunatus of North Africa
Bl Gerard of Clairvaux – was the brother of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux. He was a Soldier. When he was wounded in combat at the siege of Grancy, Gerard resolved to become a monk. He became a Benedictine Cistercian monk at Citeaux. He worked with Saint Bernard at Clairvaux and became his closest confidant. He died in 1138 of natural causes.
St Lucian of North Africa
St Mac Nissi of Clonmacno
Blessed Marianna Biernacka (1888-1943) Martyr of the Nazi Regime
Below is a video I believe features Anna herself. I, of course, do not know Polish, but another website had a picture of Anna and it was the same woman, so I believe I am correct in this supposition. It’s in Polish and throughout much of the video she is singing a song. It’s quite beautiful. If any of you know Polish I’d be grateful for information about what’s she’s saying and singing or if it is in fact Anna.
St Maximus of Cravagliana
St Nicolas Bùi Ðuc The
St Peregrinus of Amiterno
Bl Servatius Scharff
St Tryphillius of Leucosia
St Victorinus of Assisi
St Wilicarius of Vienne