Novena in Honour of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Day Seven – 16 June
What Strange Friends You Have, O Lord!
Today’s Scripture “But I say to you listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.” … Luke 6: 27-28
Reflection for the Seventh Day
You know the old saying, ‘Show me your friends and I’ll tell you who you are’ ?
Well, Jesus had the strangest set of friends Levi (a hated tax-collector), Simon the Zealot (a revolutionary), women in prostitution and other ‘public sinners.’
Maybe I’m not such bad company for Jesus, after all.
Just remember, they all repented upon meeting Jesus!
Jesus, You once said,
‘I’ve come not to call the virtuous but sinners to repentance.’
During Your apostolate, You sat and ate with sinners.
This practice of Yours gives me great hope
that Your love, will bid me welcome too!
And, You will help me to be holy!
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 – 16 June – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Steadfastness in Suffering
“We are all obliged to suffer in soul and body.
Suffering begins at birth and ends at death. “The whole life of a Christian is a cross,” (Sermon 31) says St Augustine.
For this reason, we have to develop the virtue of patience. “Let patience have it’s perfect work,” says St James, “that you may be perfect and entire” (Js 1:4).
If we are to be perfect, we must accept suffering and trials from the hands of God and offer them to Him in a spirit of harmony with His holy will.
In this way, all our actions become valuable, for they are acts of reparation and of love, which will be rewarded in Heaven.
Both our joys and our sorrows are sanctified, if we offer them to God, Who arranges everything for our own good.
The Saints longed to suffer because, they loved God and knew that suffering is the only true way in which we can prove our love.
Suffering is the best medicine for the soul, for when it is endured with patience, it purifies us and prepares us for Heaven. “If God does not punish you for our sins,” says St Augustine, “it is a sign that you are no longer counted among His sons” (De Pastoribus liber unus, c 5). “Whom the Lord loves, he chastises,” St Paul writes “and, he scourges every son whom he receives” (Heb 12:6).
Suffering is, in fact, a gift from God.
It reminds us that we have not been created for this world but for Heaven, in preparation for which, we must carry our cross with patience in the footsteps of Jesus.
No matter what we do, we must suffer.
Either we bear trials patiently and gain an increase of merit, or we rebel against them and gain no merit at all.
When we suffer, let us think of the two thieves, both of whom were tortured in the same way.
But the good thief accepted his torments with patience in reparation for his sins and was saved, while the bad thief, rebelled against his sufferings and was most probably damned forever!”
Quote/s of the Day – 16 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Tuesday of the Eleventh week in Ordinary Time, Year A, Readings: 1 Kings 21:17-29, Psalm 51:3-6, 11, 16, Matthew 5:43-48
“You shall not hate your brother in your heart but you shall reason with your neighbour, lest you bear sin because of him. You shall not take vengeance or bear any grudge against the sons of your own people but, you shall love your neighbour as yourself: I am the Lord”
“But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…”
“So hold fast to the sweet and salutary bond of love, without which, the rich are poor and with which the poor are rich. What do the rich possess if not charity? … And since “God is love,” (1 Jn 4:8) as John the evangelist says, what can the poor lack, if they merit to possess God by means of charity? … So love, dearest brethren and hold fast to charity without which, no-one will ever see God.”
St Caesarius of Arles (470-543)
Monk and Bishop
Sermons addressed to the people, no. 23, 3
“We must show love for those who do evil to us and pray for them. Nothing is dearer or more pleasing to God than this.”
St Bridget of Sweden (c 1303-1373)
“… I declare to you, that there is no other way of salvation than the one followed by Christians. Since this way teaches me to forgive my enemies and all who have offended me, I willingly forgive the king and all those who have desired my death. And I pray that they will obtain the desire of Christian Baptism.”
St Paul Miki SJ (1564-1597) Martyr
“All our religion is but a false religion and all our virtues are mere illusions and we ourselves are only hypocrites in the sight of God, if we have not that universal charity for everyone – for the good and for the bad, for the poor and for the rich and for all those who do us harm, as much as those who do us good.”
St John Vianney (1786-1859)
“When we talk about the coming of the Kingdom and pray for its coming, we are not thinking of a discrimination according to race or blood but of the brotherhood of all, for all men are our brothers – not excluding even those who hate and attack us – in a close bond with the One, who causes the sun to rise on the good and the bad alike (Mt 5:45).”
Blessed Titus Brandsma (1881-1942) Martyr
“Let us love our enemies, bless those who curse us, pray for Those who persecute us. For love will conquer and will endure for all eternity. And happy are they who live and die in God’s love.”
Blessed Franz Jägerstätter (1907-1943)
“Called-up to a Higher Order”
Martyr of Conscientious Objection
One Minute Reflection – 16 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Tuesday of the Eleventh week in Ordinary Time, Year A, Readings: 1 Kings 21:17-29, Psalm 51:3-6, 11, 16, Matthew 5:43-48 and the Memorial of Bl Donizetti Tavares de Lima (1882-1961)
“But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you… For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have?” … Matthew 5:44,46
REFLECTION – “There is in the Community, a Sister who has the faculty of displeasing me in everything – in her ways, her words, her character, everything seems very disagreeable to me. And still, she is a holy religious who must be very pleasing to God. Not wishing to give into the natural antipathy I was experiencing, I told myself that charity must not consist in feelings but in works, then I set myself to doing for this Sister, what I would do for the person, whom I loved the most. Each time I met her I prayed to God for her, offering Him all her virtues and merits. I felt this was pleasing to Jesus, for there is no artist who doesn’t love to receive praise for his works and Jesus, the Artist of souls, is happy when we don’t stop at the exterior but, penetrating into the inner sanctuary where He chooses to dwell, we admire it’s beauty.
I wasn’t content simply with praying very much for this Sister, who gave me so many struggles but I took care to render her all the services possible and when I was tempted to answer her back in a disagreeable manner, I was content with giving her my most friendly smile and with changing the subject of the conversation. … Frequently, when… I had occasion to work with this Sister, I used to run away like a deserter, whenever my struggles became too violent. As she was absolutely unaware of my feelings for her, never did she suspect the motives for my conduct and she remained convinced that her character was very pleasing to me. One day, at recreation, she asked in almost these words: “Would you tell me, Sister Therese of the Child Jesus, what attracts you so much toward me, every time you look at me, I see you smile?” Ah! what attracted me, was Jesus hidden in the depths of her soul, Jesus who makes sweet what is most bitter.” … St Thérèse of the Child Jesus (1873-1897) Doctor of the Church
PRAYER – Almighty God, to whom this world, with all it’s goodness and beauty belongs, give us grace joyfully, to begin this day for Christ Your Son, in Him and with Him and to fill it, with an active love for all Your children, even those who may not like or who do us harm. Help us to love as You do, so that we may become like You. Bl Donizetti Tavares de Lima, you who spread your charity far and wide, pray for us. Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, one God, forever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 16 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Tuesday of the Eleventh week in Ordinary Time, Year A
Daily Offering to the Sacred Heart By St Therese of the Child Jesus/Lisieux (1873-1897) Doctor of the Church
O my God!
I offer You all my actions of this day
for the intentions and for the glory
of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
I desire to sanctify
every beat of my heart,
my every thought,
my simplest works,
by uniting them
to His infinite merits
and I wish to make reparation for my sins
by casting them into the furnace
of His Merciful Love.
O my God! I ask of You for myself
and for those whom I hold dear,
the grace to fulfil perfectly
Your Holy Will,
to accept for love of You
the joys and sorrows of this passing life,
so that we may one day be united together
in heaven for all Eternity.
Saint of the Day – 16 June – Blessed Donizetti Tavares de Lima (1882-1961) Priest, Apostle of the poor, the elderly and the sick, miracle-worker, known to bilocate – born on 3 January 1881 in Cássia, Brazil and died at 11.15am on 16 June 1961 in at the parish hall in Tambaú, Brazil of natural causes,he was 80 years old.
Donizetti was born in 1882 to Minas Gerais de Tristão and Francisca Cândida Tavares de Lima. He was one of eight brothers. His father worked in law and his mother worked as a professor. In 1886, the Tavares de Limas family relocated to Franca in São Paulo, where he attended school and learned music.
In 1894 he commenced his ecclesial studies where he soon became the organist at the institute where he studied and later started to teach music to the seminarians. In 1897 he moved to a college to further his education but later returned to teach music to seminarians. In 1900 he commenced a law course and in 1903 his philosophical and theological formation in preparation for the priesthood.
He received his Ordination as a Priest on 12 July 1908 from the Bishop of Pouso Alegre. He began work in the San Gaetano Parish and then spent time in the Campinas Diocese where he served as an auxiallary Priest.
In 1909, he was appointed as the Parish Priest for the Sant’Ana Church Vargem Grande do Sul in the Ribeirão Preto Diocese, where he defended the rights of the poor. This staunch advocacy for the poor led to the rich and his other detractors to accuse him of being a communist. He also helped construct Chapels to Nossa Senhora Aparecida and to Saint Benedict of Nursia. He was stationed at the Sant’Ana church from 20 April to 8 August 1909 before being transferred again. On 24 May 1926 he was appointed as the newest Parish Priest for the Church of St Anthony in Tambaú. He arrived in the town on 12 June and was inaugurated at the parish with his first Mass there on 13 June. It was there, that he oversaw the establishment of the Saint Vincent de Paul Sanatorium for the abandoned and for elderly people who lived alone. The first miracle attributed to him occurred in 1927 – torrential rain threatened a procession of a statue of Our Lady of Aparecida but the storm subsided and was quieted when Fr Donizetti led the procession himself.
In 1960, the Archbishop of Ribeirão Preto city, Dom Luiz do Amaral Mousinho, went to Tambau, to visit the parish of Saint Anthony and met Fr Donizetti. As soon as he saw the Archbishop, he told him:
“Archbishop, I had a terrible nightmare! I saw the demon entering in the Cathedral of Saint Sebastian (in Ribeirão Preto city-SP) with some priests with him and all of them were armed with picks in hand. They were walking to the side altars of the Cathedral, screaming loudly. When they reached the altar of St Anthony, the image of the holy Friar of Lisbon looked with authority to the devil and his minions, then they left the place fast. Archbishop, for goodness sake, do not let them overthrow the altars of the Cathedral!”
At that moment, the Archbishop told him that it was just a dream, a nightmare and no one would remove the altars but Fr Donizetti told again:
“No, no, Archbishop! We won’t see this disgrace (prophesying that they both would die soon) but it will come! This was not just a dream, nor a nightmare! The darkness will fall over this world! I beg you: don’t let them destroy the altars!”
Kindly, as usual he was, the Archbishop smiled and told to him: “Fr Donizetti, I promise you, I won’t let anyone destroy the altars of our Cathedral!”
A few years later, after the introduction of the New Mass, Fr Agmar Marques remembered this fact and he avoided the removal of the altars of Saint Sebastian Cathedral.
Father Horacio Longo also remembered the “nightmare of the altars” prophesied by Father Donizetti when they removed the side altars of the parish of Franca city, now the Our Lady of Conception Cathedral.
Father Saverio Brugnara reported that Father Donizetti received a picture of St Pope John XXIII in 1959. At that momen,t Fr Donizetti looked for a time at the picture, smiled and said to an acolyte that they both should pray a lot for the Pope and for the Church. One of the acolytes wanted to remove the old picture of Pope Pius XII on the wall and put the picture of the new Pope, John XXIII but Fr Donizetti said: “No, my son! Leave the picture there! Soon I will meet him! As for the new Pope’s picture, leave it there, where it is.”
The picture of Pope John XXIII was placed on a dresser and Pius XII’s picture continued on the wall, at the main place of the sacristy.
Many miracles were witness through the piety and devotion of Father Donizetti. He was just a living saint and he used to be called as “the thaumaturge of Tambau.” One of the miracles which Father Donizetti always attributed to the intercession of Our Lady of Aparecida, was witnessed by one of the most respected journalists in Brazil, Joelmir Beting (1936-2012) who was born and lived in Tambau. Local officials came to him to seek out his advice on social matters. Even President Getúlio Vargas spoke with Fr Donizetti about social matters, that culminated legislation governing proper work ethics
On a radio program the journalist told that on the Easter Sunday of 1953, Fr Donizetti prayed the Mass in the church of Saint Anthony for thousands people and at the same time, he was seen by about 2 thousand people in the City of São Pedro dos Morrinhos, attending an auction of cattle to raise money for his sanatorium. This was one of the many miracles that made him known in the state of São Paulo and other states of the country.
Another famous miracle happened in 1955 when José Alexandre Braga, a boy of 5 years old, was cured of osteochondritis, a disease that prevented him from walking.
About the miracles, Father Donizetti used to say that the most important were not the cures but the conversions to Catholicism.
Fr Donizetti died in Tambaú on 16 June 1961 due to cardiac complications and diabetic complications that had caused several hospitalisations in the past. He died in the morning at 11:15 am while seated in a chair. His remains were interred on 17 June and exhumed on 7–8 May 2009 in Tambaú for canonical inspection and relocation, which was done at night to avoid a large crowd forming. Later his body was moved to his old parish church and now attract, between 10 and 12 thousand people per month who come as pilgrims. Thousands also visit the ‘House of Father Donizetti’ (in Portuguese “casa do Padre Donizetti”). Inside the house, there are many objects related to the miracles, such as crutches, etc.
The Priest had been hailed as a Saint his entire life and efforts to launch a Beatification process started in 1991. The cause opened towards the decade’s end and he became titled as a Servant of God. Pope Francis confirmed his heroic virtue on 9 October 2017 and named him as Venerable. Pope Francis also signed a decree on 6 April 2019 that recognised a miracle attributed to his intercession which made it possible for him to be Beatified in Tambaú on 23 November 2019. He was Beatified on 23 November 2019 by Pope Francis. The Beatification ceremony was celebrated by Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu.
Martyrs of Làng Cóc: A group of five Christian laymen, four farmers and a doctor, from the same village in the apostolic vicariate of Central Tonkin (in modern Vietnam). During the persecutions of emperor Tu Duc, they were each ordered to stomp on a cross to show their contempt for Christianity; they each refused. Imprisoned, tortured and martyred.
• Anrê Tuong
• Ðaminh Nguyen
• Ðaminh Nguyen Ðuc Mao
• Ðaminh Nhi
• Vinh Son Tuong
The were beheaded on 16 June 1862 in Làng Cóc, Nam Ðinh, Vietnam and canonised on 19 June 1988 by St Pope John Paul II.