The Seven Sorrows Novena By St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) Most Zealous Doctor
The First Sorrow – The Prophecy of Simeon
V/. O God +, come to my assistance R/. O Lord, make haste to help me.
Gloria Patri …
Reflection (St Alphonsus de Liguori)
Meditation: Sorrow as sharp as a sword shall pierce Mary’s heart because of her Child. Mary is in the Temple, having come with Joseph to present the Child to God . They meet Simeon, the holy man and Anna, the prophetess. Simeon takes the Baby in his arms, saying he will now die in peace because he has seen Christ, then he foretells the sorrow to come.
I grieve for thee, O Mary most sorrowful, in the affliction of thy tender heart at the prophecy of the holy and aged Simeon. Dear Mother, by thy heart so afflicted, obtain for me the virtue of humility and the gift of the holy fear of God. And this my special intention ……………………. (mention your intention) Amen
Ave Maria …
Prayer of St Alphonsus:
O my blessed Mother, not one sword only but as many swords, as I have committed sins, have I added to those seven in thy heart. O, my Lady, thy sorrows are not due to thee who art innocent but to me who am guilty. But since thou hast wished to suffer so much for me, O, by thy merits, obtain for me great sorrow for my sins and patience under the trials of this life, which will always be light, in comparison with my demerits, for I have often merited hell. Amen
Novena in Preparation for the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Mediatrix between God and mankind, admirable Mary, by your birth you perfected the joy of all the children of Adam, who, through you, have received the Author of Grace, for He has made you the treasurer of all the graces which are imparted to us. May your birth be a special cause of joy to my soul by obtaining for me from God, eternal salvation and all the graces necessary to obtain it. Dearest Mother, please pray for me and for these my intentions… ……………………… (State your intentions)
Prayer: Your Nativity, O Virgin Mother of God, was the herald of joy to the whole world; since from you arose the Sun of Justice, Christ our God, Who, destroying the curse, bestowed the blessing and confounding death, rewarded us with life everlasting.
V. Let us celebrate with joy the birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
R. That she may intercede for us with Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Let us pray: Grant to us Your servants, we beseech You, O Lord, the gift of Your heavenly grace, that as our salvation was begun in the child-bearing of the Blessed Virgin, so from this solemn festival of her Nativity, may we obtain an increase of peace. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen
Thought for the Day – 7 September – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Parable of the Barren Fig Tree
“Today’s subject for meditation is the parable of the barren fig tree in the Gospel of St Luke. “A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard and he came seeking fruit thereon and found none. And he said to the vine-dresser, ‘Behold, for tree years now, I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and I find none. Cut it down, therefore; why does it still encumber the ground?’ But he answered him and said, ‘Sir, let it alone this year too, till I dig around it and manure it. Perhaps it may bear fruit but, if not, then afterwards thous shalt cut it down'” (Lk 13:6-9).
Perhaps Jesus has come many times to us also, looking for the fruit of our good works and has found none. Perhaps, He has continued to bestow favours and blessings upon us and, perhaps, He has waited many years for us to correspond with His grace by performing acts of penance and of expiation.
We may have made good resolutions many times but, what became of them? Temptations of various kinds may have caused us to neglect these resolutions, which remained like branches without any fruit. We must remember, that although God is infinitely good and merciful, He is also, infinitely just. The day could come when He might say: “Cut it down. Why does it still encumber the ground?” In that case, what would become of us?
An episode described in the Gospel of St Mark, should induce serious reflection. Jesus was walking from Bethany to Jerusalem and grew hungry on the way. He saw a fig tree beside the road but, on inspection, found that it was barren. “And He said to it: ‘May no fruit ever come from thee henceforth forever!’ “And immediately, the fig tree withered up.” His disciples, we are told, were amazed when they saw this happening (Cf Mt 21:18-20).
How terrible, if God should ever pronounce this severe condemnation upon us!”
Quote/s of the Day – 7 September – Monday of the Twenty Third week in Ordinary Time, Readings: 1 Corinthians 5:1-8, Psalms 5:5-6, 7, 12, Luke 6:6-11
“Stretch forth your hand.”
“While the withered hand was restored, the withered minds of the onlookers were not. … Are you debating what you will do? Worship Him as God. Worship the Wonder-worker. Worship One who worked good things on behalf of another.”
St Athansius (297-373) Father and Doctor of the Church
“What He receives on earth He returns in heaven. … A poor man is begging from you and you are begging from God, he asks for a scrap, you ask for eternal life.”
St Caesarius of Arles (470-543)
“O God, grant that whatever good things I have, I may share generously with those who have not and whatever good things I do not have, I may request humbly from those who do.”
St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) Doctor anglicus
“If we look forward to receiving God’s mercy, we can never fail to do good, so long as we have the strength. For if we share with the poor, out of love for God, whatever He has given to us, we shall receive according to His promise, a hundredfold in eternal happiness. What a fine profit, what a blessed reward! With outstretched arms He begs us to turn toward Him, to weep for our sins and to become the servants of love, first for ourselves, then for our neighbours. Just as water extinguishes a fire, so love wipes away sin.”
St John of God (1495-1550)
“So when you leave prayer to serve some poor person, remember, that this very service, is performed for God.”
St Vincent de Paul (1581-1660)
“Yours must be a work of love, of kindness, you must give your time, your talents, yourselves.”
Blessed Frédéric Ozanam (1813–1853) “Servant to the Poor” and Founder of the St Vincent de Paul Society
“On another Sabbath, he entered the synagogue and was teaching and there was a man whose right hand was withered.” … Luke 6:6
REFLECTION – “Are you angry at me because I have healed the whole man on the sabbath day?” In this place he revivified, with the salutary strength of good works, the hand which Adam stretched out to pluck the fruit of the forbidden tree. The hand which had withered through a crime, was healed by good deeds. Christ thereby rebuked the Jews who violated the precepts of the law with evil interpretations. They thought that they should rest even from good works on the sabbath, since the law prefigured in the present, the form of the future, in which indeed the days of rest from evils, not from blessings, would come.
Then you heard the words of the Lord, saying, “Stretch forth your hand.” That is the common and universal remedy. You, who think that you have a healthy hand, beware lest it is withered by greed or by sacrilege Hold it out often. Hold it out to the poor person who begs you. Hold it out to help your neighbour, to give protection to a widow, to snatch from harm one whom you see subjected to unjust insult. Hold it out to God for your sins. The hand is stretched forth, then it is healed. Jeroboam’s hand withered when he sacrificed to idols, then it stretched out when he entreated God” … St Ambrose (340-397)- One of the 4 original Doctors of the Latin Church – Exposition on the Gospel of Luke, 5
PRAYER – God of mercy and love, You offer all peoples the dignity of sharing in your life. Rule over our hearts and bodies this day. Sanctify us and guide our every thought, word and deed, my our hands be held out to our neighbour in imitation of Your love and mercy. By the intercession of Mary the Mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ and our Mother, strengthen us to love each other as brothers and sisters. We ask 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 – 7 September – Monday of the Twenty Third week in Ordinary Time
Our Lord, King of all! By St Albert the Great (1200-1280) Doctor of the Church
We pray to You, O Lord, who are the supreme Truth, and all truth is from You. We beseech You, O Lord, who are the highest Wisdom, and all the wise depend on You for their wisdom. You are the supreme Joy, and all who are happy owe it to You. You are the Light of minds and all receive their understanding from You. We love, we love You above all. We seek You, we follow You, and we are ready to serve You. We desire to dwell under Your power for You are the King of all. Amen
Saint of the Day – 7 September – Saint Regina (3rd Century) Virgin Martyr – also known as Sainte Reine (in French). Patronages – poor people, shepherdesses, torture victims.
Saint Regina was the daughter of a pagan aristocrat named Clement, in Alise, Burgundy. When her mother died in childbirt,. Regina’s father placed her upbringing, in the care of a Christian nurse attached to the family, who, secretly baptised her. Regina was driven from her family’s home because of her faith and lived as a poor, prayerful shepherdess, together with her governess. She worked in the fields by day, tending sheep, to help support the household. In the fields, Regina grew closer to the Lord, meditating and contemplating His love and mercy and praying to better emulate the lives of the holy saints and martyrs.
At the age of fifteen, Regina caught the eye of the prefect of Gaul, Olybrius, a man of great importance . He became obsessed with the young woman and was determined to take her as his bride. He delighted in her noble upbringing but was deeply disturbed to find that she was practising the Christian faith. At that time, Christians were being violently persecuted and killed, under the direction of the Emperor Decius. Olybrius attempted to persuade her to deny her faith, so as to not only save her from persecution but to secure her as a wife. She declined, refusing to recant her faith and professing it all the louder. In retaliation, Olybrius had her imprisoned.
Regina was chained to the walls of a dark prison cell by means of an iron belt that was bolted to the wall. There she was left while Olybrius participated in several military campaigns against invading barbarians, returning to his daily activities. After an absence of some time, he returned, hoping she may have changed her mind. On the contrary, her imprisonment had served to strengthen her resolve to live like the saints and martyrs and maintain her chastity for the Lord. She refused to sacrifice to idols and he angrily ordered her tortured. Regina courageously withstood whippings and scourging over the back of a wooden horse, raking with iron combs, burning with hot pincers and torches, and crucifixion. None of these could cause her to doubt the Lord or recant her faith and as she continued to praise God. Lastly, she was beheaded, ending her life and her conversion of many witnesses present who observed a solitary dove hovering atop her head during her torture.
The relics of Saint Regina are enshrined in Flavigni Abbey, having been translated there in c 864. Since that time, numerous miracles have been attributed to their presence and frequent pilgrimages are made by the faithful to venerate them.
Given the accounts of her Martyrdom, in art, Saint Regina is portrayed as a maiden bound to a cross with torches applied to her sides, imprisoned with a dove appearing on a shining cross, scourged with rods, or in a boiling cauldron. She is greatly venerated at Autunand Dijon, France and in southern Germany.
Honoured in many Martyrologies, Regina’s feast is celebrated today, or in the Archdiocese of Paderborn on 20 June. In the past, a procession was held in her honour in the town of Dijon. The history of the translation of Regina was the subject of a 9th-century account.
There are many places in France named Sainte-Reine after her.
St Alcmund of Hexham Bl Alexander of Milan St Augustalus St Balin St Carissima of Albi St Chiaffredo of Saluzzo Bl Claude-Barnabé Laurent de Mascloux St Cloud (522-c 560) Biography: https://anastpaul.com/2017/09/07/saint-of-the-day-7-september-st-cloud/ St Desiderio of Benevento St Dinooth Bl Eugenia Picco St Eupsychius of Caesarea St Eustace of Beauvais St Evortius of Orleans St Faciolus St Festo of Benevento Bl François d’Oudinot de la Boissière Blessed Giovanni Battista Mazzucconi (1826-1855) Martyr His Life and Death: https://anastpaul.com/2019/09/07/saint-of-the-day-7-september-blessed-giovanni-battista-mazzucconi-1826-1855-martyr/ St Giovanni of Lodi St Goscelinus of Toul St Gratus of Aosta St Grimonia of Picardy St Hiduard Bl Ignatius Klopotowski Bl John Duckett Bl John Maki Bl John of Nicomedia Bl Ludovicus Maki Soetsu Madalberta Bl Maria of Bourbon St Marko Križevcanin St Melichar Grodecký St Memorius of Troyes St Pamphilus of Capua Bl Ralph Corby St Regina (3rd Century) Virgin Martyr St Sozonte Bl Thomas Tsuji St Tilbert of Hexham — Martyrs of Noli: Four Christians who became soldiers and were martyred together for their faith. A late legend makes them member of the Theban Legend who escaped their mass martyrdom but that’s doubtful – Paragorius, Partenopeus, Parteus and Severinus. They were born in Noli, Italy and martyred in Corsica, France. Attribute – soldiers with a banner of Noli.
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War: • Blessed Antoni Bonet Sero • Blessed Ascensión Lloret Marcos • Blessed Gregorio Sánchez Sancho • Blessed Félix Gómez-Pinto Piñero