Thought for the Day – 4 July – The New Life

Thought for the Day – 4 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood” – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The New Life

the new life - a man who loves god above all things - bacci 4 july 2020

“Only a Christian,” wrote Tertullian, “can be wise, sincere and lofty” (De praescriptione haereticorum, 3).

He had in mind, of course, the true follower of Jesus Christ, who is practising the precepts of Our Lord.
“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with they whole heart ... Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Mt 22:37, MK 12:30, Lk 10:27).
“You are to be perfect, even as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Mt 5:48).

A man who loves God above all things, can fairly be called wise.
God is the supreme good and as such, should be the final end towards which we direct all our thoughts and actions.
If anyone adopts his own ego or some created good as his goal in life, he is not wise because he has upset the proper scale of values.
It is not true to say that we should love ourselves before anything else because we are creatures who belong to God and should refer everything to Him.
Only if we love God above all things, even above ourselves, can we really be said to love ourselves.
How can we love ourselves, if, in the first place, we do not love our highest good, which is God?
Since this love must be active, it makes us faithful to God’s commandments and raises us above the rest of creation to a state of immediate dependence on God.
A love of all mankind flows as a natural consequence from this union of love with God.
If we regard all men as our brothers in Jesus Christ, we shall be perfect Christians in the manner intended by our divine Redeemer when He desires us to be like His heavenly Father.
This is the new life which Jesus came to bring into the world and which we should nurture in ourselves (Cf Heb 4:23-24).”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci


Quote/s of the Day – 4 July – Blessed Petrus Kasui Kibe and Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati

Quote/s of the Day – 4 July – The Memorial of Blessed Petrus Kasui Kibe SJ (c 1587-1639) Priest and Martyr “A Christian Walking Through the World” and Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati TOSF (1901-1925)Man of the Beatitudes”

“Let us hoist our sails
trusting in the wind
of God’s grace.”

Blessed Petrus Kasui Kibe (c 1587-1639)
Priest and Martyr
“A Christian Walking Through the World”

let us hoist our sails trusting in the wind of god's grace - bl petrus kasui kibe 4 july 2020

“All around the sick
and all around the poor,
I see a special light
which we do not have.”

all around the sick and all around the poor i see a special light which we do not have - bl pier giorgio frassati 4 july 2020

“In prayer,
the soul rises
above life’s sadnesses.”

in prayer the souls rises above lifes sadnesses - bl pier giorgio frassati - 4 july 2020

“The faith given to me in Baptism
suggests to me surely –
by yourself you will do nothing
but, if you have God as the centre of all your action,
then you will reach the goal.”

the faith given to me in baptism - bl pier giorgio frassati 4 july 2020

“The times we are going through are difficult
because cruel persecution of the Church is raging.
But you, bold and good young people,
should not be afraid of this small thing,
remember, that the Church is a divine institution
and cannot come to an end.
She will last till the end of the world.
Not even the gates of hell can prevail against her.”

the times we are going through are difficult - bl pier giorgio frassati 4 july 2020

“To live without faith,
without a heritage to defend,
without battling constantly for truth,
is not to live
but to ‘get along,’
we must never just ‘get along’.”

Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati (1901-1925)
“Man of the Beatitudes”

More from Blessed Pier Giorgio here:

to live without faith - bl pier giorgio frassati 4 july 2020


One Minute Reflection – 4 July – So let us fast and pray since we are still on the threshold of birth.

One Minute Reflection – 4 July – “Month of the Precious Blood” – Saturday of the Thirteenth Week of Ordinary Time, Year A, Readings:  Amos 9:11-15Psalm 85:11-14Matthew 9:14-17 and the Memorial of Blessed Petrus Kasui Kibe SJ (c 1587-1639) Prist and Martyr and Bl Pier Giorgio Frassati TOSF (1901-1925)

And Jesus said to them, “Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them?   The days will come, when the bridegroom is taken away from them and then they will fast.” … Matthew 9:15

REFLECTION – “However, our mourning is right if we burn with desire to see Him.   How happy they were who were able to enjoy His presence before His Passion, to question Him as they wished and listen to Him as necessary… As for us, we see the fulfilment of what He said: “The days are coming when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it” (Lk 17:22)… “A little while and you will no longer see me and again a little while and you will see me” (Jn 16:19).

But now this is the hour of which He said:  “You will weep and mourn but the world will rejoice… But, He added, I will see you again and your hearts will rejoice and no-one will take your joy away from you” (v.22). The hope thus given us by Him, who is faithful in His promises, never now leaves us, without a certain joy — until that overwhelming joy comes on the day when we will be like Him because we will see Him as he is (1Jn 3:2)… “When a woman is in labour, she has pain because her hour has come,” says the Lord, “but when her child is born, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy of having brought a human being into the world” (Jn 16:21).   This is the joy no-one can take away from us and with which we will be satisfied when we pass to eternal light from our present conception in faith.   So let us fast and pray since we are still on the threshold of birth.“…St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctormatthew 9 15 can the wedding guests mourn - however our morurning is right if we burn with desire to see him - st augustine 4 july 2020

PRAYER – Father almighty, as we wait and work and pray and fast in joyful hope of our eternal life with You, grant we pray that we may always remain steadfast in Your love.   Blessed Petrus Kasui Kibe, you of intrepid perseverance and faith and Pier Giorgio Frassati, you whose faith could move mountains, pray for us, that we will fully utilise the many gifts our Almighty God has bestowed on us as we journey home. We make our prayer through Jesus Christ our Lord, in union with You and the Holy Spirit, one God forever, petrus kasui kibe pray for us 4 july 2020

bl-pier-pray-for-us - 4 july 2017


Our Morning Offering – 4 July – Mother of the Eternal Word

Our Morning Offering – 4 July – “Month of the Precious Blood” and a Marian Saturday of the Thirteenth week in Ordinary Time

Mother of the Eternal Word
Raccolta Prayer

Most glorious Virgin,
chosen by the eternal Counsel
to be the Mother of the eternal Word made flesh,
thou who art the treasurer of divine graces
and the advocate of sinners,
I who am thy most unworthy servant
have recourse to thee.
Be thou pleased to be my guide
and counsellor in this vale of tears.
Obtain for me
through the Most Precious Blood
of thy divine Son,
the forgiveness of my sins,
the salvation of my soul
and the means necessary to obtain it.
In like manner obtain for the Holy Church
victory over her enemies
and the spread of the kingdom of Jesus Christ
upon the whole earth.
Amenmother of the eternal word from the raccolta 4 july 2020


Saint of the Day – 4 July – Blessed Petrus Kasui Kibe SJ (c 1587-1639) Priest and Martyr – “A Christian Walking Through the World”

Saint of the Day – 4 July – Blessed Petrus Kasui Kibe SJ (c 1587-1639) Japanese Jesuit Priest and Martyr.   Born in c 1587 in Kibe, Oita, Japan and died by being run through with a spear on 4 July 1639 in Tokyo, Japan.   He is called the “Japanese Marco Polo” or “A Christian Walking Through the World” and “The man who walked 4000kms.”

This is the extraordinary story of Fr Petrus Kibe who walked 4000kms to get permission to become a priest.

On 4 July 1639, Japanese samurai and Jesuit priest Father Petrus Kasui Kibe refused to renounce Christ under the most gruelling regime of torture ever devised by man or devil.   In the wake of Father Petrus’ death, the Shogun’s master torturer dubbed him “the man who would not say, I give in”—a perfect epitaph to his heroic life.
He was the most international Japanese of his day, perhaps the most determined man on the planet and unflinchingly faithful to Christ unto death—and a most horrible death it was indeed.   No wonder Peter Kibe’s name (pronounced KEE-beh) heads the list of the 188 Japanese Martyrs Beatified on 24 November 2008 by Pope Benedict XVI as Peter Kibe Kasui and 187 Companions, petrus kibe kasui

The Kibes were samurai of Urabe in the province of Bungo on the island of Kyushu, a province which had been visited by Portuguese traders, six years before St Francis Xavier’s arrival in Kyushu on 15 Augus 1549—the Feast of the Assumption.   Petrus was born in 1587, the year the dictator Hideyoshi first decreed a ban on Christianity, his parents, faithful Catholics, had their infant son Baptised in the Church at Nakatsu soon after his birth.

In 1600, Petrus entered the Jesuit Minor Seminary at Arima southeast of Nagasaki and on graduating, he declared his desire to enter the Society of Jesus.   The Society wouldn’t open their doors to just any would-be Jesuit, though, they wanted solid proof of God’s call, so Petrus began eight years of humble labours as a Catechist until, in 1614, the de-facto Shogun Ieyasu expelled all Christian missionaries from Japan.

Petrus was shipped to the Portuguese colony of Macao, where the Society of Jesus was hard put to accommodate the huge influx of Japanese exiles.   Some they sent to new Southeast Asian missions and others—like Petrus Kibe—they took in as Seminarians but they had to close their school in 1618, frustrating those men’s hopes for Ordination. Undaunted, Petrus and two other young samurai-missionaries set out for Rome, via India.   The other two went on from India by sea but Petrus struck out on foot alone across Persia, heading for the Holy Land.   Since he left us no record of his journey, we can only imagine the dangers he must have encountered along the way, traversing territory hostile to Christians, all the way to the Holy Land.   That samurai grit of his, would march the stalwart Petrus Kibe all the way to Heaven, via the strait and narrow path of petrus kibe - Columban-The-man-who-walked-4000kms

Having arrived in Rome with no proof on paper of his studies in Japan and Macao, he nevertheless conquered the churchmen’s doubts and on Sunday, 15 November 1620, he became Father Petrus Kibe by the laying-on of the Bishop’s hands in a chapel at the Lateran.   When he showed up in his Cassock at the Jesuits’ door in Rome five days later, they didn’t turn him away, despite the Jesuit Visitor’s exhortations, written from Macao, to distrust wandering Japanese exiles like him – he won them over too and entered the Jesuit novitiate—normally lasting two years.   For Father Petrus, though, two years was too long to wait – incoming reports of the ravening persecution in Japan would give him no peace – he must hurry to the aid of his countrymen.   He petitioned the General of the Society of Jesus, who promptly agreed, Father Petrus’ mission was clearly ordained by God!  He would leave Rome at once and finish his two years’ Novitiate en route to Japan.
He made his Jesuit vows in Lisbon on 21 November 1622 and the following March, on the Feast of the Annunciation, he set out on a trouble-plagued, fourteen-month voyage to India.   Next he went on to Macao but the local government would let no Missionaries sail from their island to Japan, fearing the Shogun’s reprisals against Macao’s trade with his captive nation—the colony’s economic lifeline—so Petrus headed for Siam, hoping to sail on from there to his benighted homeland.   On the way, his ship was chased by pirates in the Malacca Strait and everybody abandoned ship and swam for shore.

The Siamese royal capital of Ayutthaya had a large Japanese community, about 400 of them Catholic exiles.   Some hundreds of these Japanese were ronin, or itinerant samurai, who served in the King’s Royal Guards.   Petrus lived incognito among his countrymen in that exotic city for two years, trying to find passage to Japan but all Japan-bound ships’ captains were demanding oaths of apostasy of all Japanese-Christian would-be passengers, fearing the reprisals of the Shogun’s sheriff at Nagasaki—and Father Petrus would not deny Christ. After two years’ fruitless waiting, he sailed for Manila to try his luck there but the same rule held at Manila – no Missionaries could sail from there for Japan.

He and some other Japanese Christians—one of them a Priest like himself, Father Michael Matsuda—were determined to get to Japan somehow, anyhow, so they moved to a small island and there built their own boat.   It was promptly attacked by termites.   Undaunted, the intrepid believers plugged the holes with extra planking and, putting everything into God’s hands, set out for their beloved homeland.
It was the typhoon season of 1630 and they could have expected that their ramshackle, home-made boat would become a plaything of the tempests but they had almost made it to Japan, their dream was in sight, when a tempest came raging along and smashed their boat into the rocky shore of an island just off the coast of Kagoshima—the very place where Saint Francis Xavier had first set foot on Japanese soil to plant the Gospel seeds.   Yet all in the shipwreck survived and the islanders not only gave them shelter but later ferried them on to Kagoshima after the storm had passed.

Now Father Petrus and his companions plunged into the fiery furnace that was the Shogun Iemitsu’s Japan.    Father Petrus went north and for nine harried years, daily risking capture and the horrific torture that would inevitably follow, he offered the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ for the starving souls of countless persecuted Christians;  then, in July of 1639, he was caught and dragged before the wretched Shogun to testify for Jesus.   The Shogun Iemitsu – paranoiac, pederast and sadist, this wretch, harboured a morbid fear of Christ and, according to the authoritative Japan-historian C R Boxer, he “derived considerable pleasure from cross-examining Christians under torture.”

The Shogun’s torture-masters were aiming for apostate priests, not dead ones and their method of persuasion was, by 1639, quite refined – the victim was cocooned in tight coils of rope and hung by his heels in a pit—probably containing human dung and other filth—his waist pinched in a clamp of sorts, a circular wooden lid cut in halves, with a hole in the middle for the pinched waist.   This device both cut off the victim’s circulation and sealed the pit, shutting him in in that horrific stench;  meanwhile, the torturers tempted him with promises of relief if only he would chant to Buddha and thus renounce Christ.   All the while it felt like his head was exploding, while blood dripped from his mouth, ears and nose.   On the day Petrus Kibe was given the treatment, two other priests were apparently induced under the same torture to chant the name of Amida Buddha and were hauled up and out, soon to die of their wounds—officially declared ‘apostates’ even though they had tried to recant their murmured chants before dying. Petrus, though, had been hung in another hole together with two Catechists and, ignoring his own agonies, he continually encouraged his brothers-in-suffering to cling to Christ to the end.   Fearing the contagion of his faith, the executioners pulled him out and finished him off by burning firewood on his belly, according to one account, and since this didn’t kill the steely Father Petrus, they finally ripped out his bowels.

While Father Petrus was enduring his final torments, the Shogun’s torturers asked him why he didn’t just give in, and he told them, “You cannot understand this, therefore, it is no use guiding you.”
His guiding words they might not have understood but how Petrus Kibe’s living testimony—his superhuman faith—must have fired their hearts!   A torch of truth still burning white-hot in this fourth century following his Martyrdom – proof of the blinding fact that God is real and that His Name is Jesus.

His interrogator was the infamous former Christian, Inoue.   In his written deposition Inoue wrote, “Petrus Kibe has not fallen.   He has also fortified his fellow prisoners.   His sentence is death by strangulation.”   Fr Petrus Kibe was executed in July 1639.   He had run his race, finished the course and kept his faith.   He had worked in Japan as a Priest for nine years.   He was 52 when he died.   Fr Petrus Kibe loved Christ, he loved his country and its culture, he loved his people  . He was 100% Christian and 100% Japanese.   He had the endurance Jesus spoke of.   “You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relations and friends; and some of you will be put to death… but not a hair of your head will be lost.   Your endurance will win you your lives” (Lk21:16-19).

Among the 188 martyrs beatified on 24 November were the following:

109 men – 32 samurai, seven catechists, one Jesuit brother and four priests.

49 women – 27 of whom died with their husbands.

30 children – from the age of one year to 14 years died with their parents.

“Though many were samurai and knew how to fight, they chose the path of non-violent resistance and that is significant for people today.” Cardinal Fumio Hamao.

The Beatification of Peter Kibe and 187 other martyrs took place on 24 November 2008, in Nagasaki.   For the liturgical celebration in Nagasaki Stadium more than 30,000 participants attended, which was celebrated by Cardinal José Saraiva Martins on behalf of Pope Benedict petrus kibe kasui statue (1)


Our Lady of Refuge and Memorials of the Saints – 4 July

4 July – Our Lady of Refuge, Nuestra Señora del Refugio, is Patroness of California and parts of Mexico.
This painting is from the hands of the artist, Joseph de Paez, 1750, Mexico.our lady of refuge

The Franciscan missionary Francisco Diego Garcia y Moreno was the first Bishop of Baja, California.   He proclaimed Nuestra Señora del Refugio, as Patron on 4 January 1843, at Mission Santa Clara in Alta California.

His proclamation included the following:
The entire text of Bishop Garcia Diego’s declaration is recorded in Mission Santa Clara’s Libro de Patentes.   After citing the early Fathers of the Church on the practice and spiritual benefits of naming patron Saints, the first Bishop of the Californias stated:  “We make known to you that we hereby name the great Mother of God in her most precious title, ‘del Refugio, ‘ the principal patroness of our Diocese . . . With so great a patroness and protectress, what can we not promise ourselves? What can be wanting and whom need we fear?”

The Liturgical Feast:
In 1981 the California Catholic Conference of Bishops petitioned the Vatican Congregation for the Sacraments and Divine Worship for authorisation to observe the Feast of Our Lady of Refuge on 5 July as an obligatory memorial. This was approved by official document dated 15 January 1982 and signed by Archbishop Giuseppe Casoria.

The Diocese of Baja California celebrate this Patronal Feast on 4 July.

Paintings of Our Lady of Refuge are, with few exceptions, quite similar in design and execution.   The heads of the Infant Jesus and his Mother Mary lean together with no background between them.   Both figures wear a crown.   Mary’s eyes are turned toward the observer, while the gaze of the child seems to turn left of the viewer.
In the Santa Clara Mission church the painting of Our Lady of Refuge is found above the larger picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe in one of the side altar niches on the left as one nears the sanctuary.   Another painting by Eulalio, a local Native American, is on display in Santa Clara University’s De Saisset Museum near the mission church.

The above image is darker than the Eulalio painting, which has a wood-tone background.   The flower motif is almost the same, the two figures are almost identical in both images.

St Elizabeth of Portugal TOSF (1271-1336) (Optional Memorial)

Bl Agatha Yun Jeom-Hye
St Albert Quadrelli
St Andrew of Crete
St Anthony Daniel
St Aurelian of Lyons
St Bertha of Blangy
St Carileffo of Anille
Bl Catherine Jarrige
St Cesidio Giacomantonio
Bl Damiano Grassi of Rivoli
St Donatus of Libya
St Edward Fulthrop
St Elias of Jerusalem
St Finbar of Wexford
St Fiorenzo of Cahors
St Flavian of Antioch
St Giocondiano
Bl Giovanni of Vespignano
St Haggai the Prophet
Bl Hatto of Ottobeuren
Bl Henry Abbot
St Henry of Albano
St Hosea the Prophet
St Innocent of Sirmium
Bl John Carey
Bl John Cornelius
Bl Jozef Kowalski
St Jucundian
St Laurian of Seville
St Lauriano of Vistin
Bl Maria Crocifissa Curcio
St Namphanion the Archmartyr
Bl Natalia of Toulouse
St Odo the Good
Bl Odolric of Lyon
Bl Patrick Salmon
Bl Pedro Romero Espejo
Blessed Petrus Kasui Kibe SJ (c 1587-1639) Priest and Martyr
The first of the 188 Japanese Martyrs

Bl Pier Giorgio Frassati (1901-1925) Incorrupt
About dear Blessed Pier Giorgio:

St Sebastia of Sirmium
St Theodore of Cyrene
St Theodotus of Libya
Bl Thomas Bosgrave
Bl Thomas Warcop
St Ulric of Augsburg (c 890–973)
His Life:
St Ulric of Ratzeburg
St Valentine of Langres
St Valentine of Paris
Bl William Andleby
Bl William of Hirsau