The Seven Sorrows Novena By St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) Most Zealous Doctor
Day Four – The Fourth Sorrow Mary Meets Jesus on the Way to Calvary
V/. O God +, come to my assistance R/. O Lord, make haste to help me.
Gloria Patri …
Reflection (St Alphonsus de Liguori)
Meditation: Mary has known fear and sorrow but none so great, as seeing her beloved Son stumbling under the weight of the Cross. She hears the jeering shouts from the crowd and has no power to help Him. Pity and love are in her eyes as she gazes at His blood-stained face. To many around her, He is no better than a criminal and her heart is breaking as she follows Him to Calvary or Golgotha.
I grieve for thee, O Mary most sorrowful in the consternation of thy heart at meeting Jesus as he carried His Cross. Dear Mother, by thy heart so troubled, obtain for me the virtue of patience and the gift of fortitude. And this my special intention ……………………. (mention your intention) Amen
Ave Maria …
Prayer of St Alphonsus: My sorrowful Mother, by the merit of that grief which thou did feel at seeing thy beloved Jesus led to death, obtain for me the grace also to bear with patience, those crosses which God sends me. Happy me, if I also shall know how to accompany thee with my cross until death. Thou and Jesus, both innocent, have borne a heavy cross and shall I a sinner, who have merited hell, refuse mine? O, Immaculate Virgin, I hope that thou will help me to bear my crosses with patience. Amen
Thought for the Day – 10 September – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“God is infinitely perfect in Himself and has, therefore, no need of creatures of His eternal happiness. He knows Himself fully and this act of knowing, is not transient but substantial and eternal. It is the perfct image of His own Essence, the Word which expressed His Divine Infinity.
Knowing Himself in the infinite depths of His truth, beauty and goodness, God naturally loves Himself. This love, also substantial and external, is the Holy Spirit, Who proceeds, not only from the Father but also from the Word, since God loves Himself because He knows Himself perfectly. The happiness of God, as St Gregory Nazianzen writes, is not a solitary state of beatitude. He has within Himself, the Word, His consubstantial Son, in Whom is reflected the perfection of His nature and to Whom, He repeats from eternity: “You are my son; this day I have begotten you” (Ps 2:7). Moreover, in an act equally substantial and infinite, He pours forth His love, the Holy Spirit. Because, He is infinitely happy and perfect in Himself, God wished to manifest His perfection and to communicate His happiness to others. According to St Thomas Aquinas, the only reason why God has created, is to manifest His glory and to share His happiness. Creation is, therefore, an act of love. “I have loved thee with an everlasting love, therefore, have I drawn thee, taking pity on thee” (Jer 31:3). “God,” says St Irenaeus, “did not create man because He had need of him but because, He wished to have creatures on whom He could shower His gifts.” That is why Sacred Scripture tells us that “the Lord has made everything for His own ends” (Prov 16:4).
Turning over these reflections in our minds, we should make an act of profound humility before God and acknowledge that we are nothing without Him. We should express our deep gratitude to God for our very existence and for all the other gifts with which He has enriched us.
Finally, we should pay Him the tribute of our love, which should be expressed in a practical manner, as well as verbally, by complete and constant fidelity to His commandments.”
Quote/s of the Day – 10 September – Thursday of the Twenty Third week in Ordinary Time, Readings: 1 Corinthians 8:1b-7, 11-13, Psalms 139:1-3, 13-14, 23-24, Luke 6:27-38
“Love one another as I have loved you”
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”
“Once for all, then, a short precept is given you – Love and do what you will, whether you hold your peace, through love, hold your peace; whether you cry out, through love cry out; whether you correct, through love correct; whether you spare, through love do you spare. Let the root of love be within, of this root, can nothing spring but what is good.”
St Augustine (354-430) Great Western Father and Doctor of the Church
Homily 7 on John
“My brothers, Christ made love the stairway that would enable all Christians to climb to heaven. Hold fast to it, therefore, in all sincerity, give one another practical proof of it and by your progress in it, make your ascent together.”
St Fulgentius of Ruspe (c 462 – 533)
“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)
“At the end of your life, you will be judged by your love.”
St John of the Cross (1542-1591) Doctor of the Church
“And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them..” … Luke 6:31
REFLECTION – “Whoever loves me, says the Lord, will keep my commandments” and, “this is my commandment: that you love one another” (cf. Jn 14:15.23; 15:12). Thus whoever does not love their neighbour fails to keep the commandment and so cannot love the Lord. (…)
If “love is the fulfilling of the law” (Rm 13:10), anyone who is full of rancour towards a neighbour, laying traps for the neighbour, cursing and exults in their fall, must surely be a transgressor deserving eternal punishment. If “he who speaks evil of his brother and judges him, speaks evil of the law and judges the law” (Jas 4:11) and the law of Christ is love, surely someone who speaks evil of Christ’s love, falls away from it and is the cause of his own perdition.
Do not listen gleefully to gossip at your neighbour’s expense, nor chatter to a person who likes finding fault. Otherwise you will fall away from divine love and find yourself cut off from eternal life. (…) Silence the person who utters slander in your hearing. Otherwise you sin twice over: – first you accustom yourself to a deadly passion and, second, you fail to prevent this gossip against your neighbour. (…)
St Paul says that if we have all the gifts of the Spirit but do not have love, we are no further forward (cf. 1 Cor 13:2). How assiduous, then, we ought to be in our efforts to acquire this love!” … St Maximus the Confessor (c 580–662) Abbot Theologian – First Century on Love, nos. 16, 56-58, 60, 54
PRAYER – Almighty Lord and God, protect us by Your power and love throughout this day, even as You have enabled us, in Your love to begin it. Do not let us turn aside to any sin but let our every thought, word and deed be done in love for You and Your creatures, our neighbour. Teach us to love as You have loved us and may our Sorrowful and Holy Mother, show us the way. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Who loved us to the end, with the Holy Spiriti, God now and for all eternity, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 10 September – Thursday of the Twenty Third week in Ordinary Time, Readings: 1 Corinthians 8:1b-7, 11-13, Psalms 139:1-3, 13-14, 23-24, Luke 6:27-38
“If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.”… Luke 6:32
Prayer for the Virtue of Love By St Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109) Doctor magnificus (Magnificent Doctor); Doctor Marianus (Marian Doctor)
We love You, O God and desire to love You more and more. Grant that we may love You as we wish to love You and as we should love You. O dearest Friend, who has loved us so deeply and redeemed us; come and take Your place in our hearts. Watch over our lips, our steps and our deeds so we no longer need fear for our soul and body. Yes, give us love, most precious of gifts, which knows no enemies. Give our hearts that pure love borne of Your love for us, that we may love others as You love us. O most loving Father of Jesus Christ from whom all love flows, grant that our hearts, frozen in sin and grown cold toward You, may be warmed in the divine glow. Help and bless us in Your Son. O blessed Lord, You have commanded us to love one another, give us the grace that, as we have received your unmerited favours, we may love all persons in You and for You. We implore Your clemency for all people but particularly for our friends, whom You have given us. Love them, Source of Love and instil in them a thorough love of Yourself, that they may seek, utter and do nothing save what is pleasing to You. Amen
Saint of the Day – 10 September – Blessed Oglerio O.Cist (c 1136-1214) Cistercian Monk, Abbot, Mediator and peace-maker, Reformer, Penitent, Writer – born in c 1136 in Trento, Trino Vercellese, Italy and died in 1214 of natural causes. He is also known as Ogerius, Ogler, Oglerius. Blessed Oglerio was devoted to Mary and in his writings praised her prerogatives, especially the Immaculate Conception. Not only a man of learning but of humility as well, he was found by Pope Innocent III to be an “instrument of peace” in settling quarrels among warring factions in Italy.
It can be said that Trino Vercellese is a land of the blessed. In addition to Blessed Magdalene Panattieri and Blessed Arcangela Girlani, Blessed Oglerio, Abbot of St Maria di Lucedio is also the pride of the people of Trento. This was an important Cistercian Abbey, founded in 1123 as a subsidiary of the Monastery of La Fertè, in a vast wooded plain not far from Trino. In those days, the abbeys were indeed centres of spirituality but they also had the important economic role of managing many lands recovered from the state of abandonment.
Oglerio was born around the year 1136, the son of a wealthy family. Even today in the city, his birthplace is traditionally indicated which, despite the inevitable alterations, retains three coats of arms from the 8th century on the facade. There is also a fresco depicting the three local blessed.
In 1248 the young Oglerio witnessed the solemn passage of St Bernard of Clairvaux who accompanied, together with fourteen cardinals, Blessed Pope Eugenio III (also a Cistercian) on the journey from Asti to Vercelli, for the Consecration of the Basilica of St Mary Major. The great Doctor of the Church, with his exceptional charisma, broke into the heart of Oglerio who, probably already a student at Lucedio, wore the white Cistercian habit three years later. According to the Benedictine Rule, he alternated study with work, he took his vows in 1153 and in 1161 he was Ordained a Priest. He killed his own body with penance and fasting but he was meek with others, revealing that character that would distinguish him throughout his life.
In 1174, when Bernard of Clairvaux was Canonised, Lucedio was at its peak. About ten years later Peter II was elected Abbot and Oglerio, his right hand, was often his companion in the many missions he undertook in the ecclesiastical and civil sphere. On behalf of Pope Celestino III they settled the disputes between the Bishop of Tortona and the Templars. From the successor Pope Innocent III, they had the task of reconciling Parma and Piacenza (1200), reforming the important Monastery of Bobbio and, with the Bishop of Vercelli, the congregation of the Umiliati of that city, to smooth out the discords between the Monks and Canons of St Ambrogio of Milan (1202) and between the Bishop of Genoa and the Chapter of his Cathedral (1203).
In 1202 they preached the IV Crusade in Trino, one of the captains was Bonifacio del Monferrato. The Crusade failed in its intent, also because the Venetians, despite the dissent of the Pope, exploited it for their own political gain. Boniface, however, was awarded the title of King of Thessaly and the Abbot Peter II was elected Bishop of Ivrea and later Patriarch of Antioch. Oglerio became the eleventh Abbot of Lucedio who, in that year (1205), had fifty Monks.
The Blessed always had a great love for his country and several times he acted as a “peacemaker” in the long-standing conflicts that arose between the Bishop and the Municipality of Vercelli. In 1210, Trino acquired a certain autonomy and the Emperor Otto IV granted the Monastery, possessions and privileges, that benefited the surrounding territory – great was the charity of the Monks who drew from the Abbey’s granaries to help the needy in the many periods of need.
Oglerio also had many diplomatic assignments, on behalf of the Order of Cîteaux, the Apostolic See and the local dignataries – on behalf of the Marquis Guglielmo il Buono, he went on a mission to the Emperor Conrad and the King of France Louis VII. In 1212 Pope Innocent III appointed him Arbitrator between the Canons of Casale and those of Paciliano and the following year he had the task of re-establishing the rights of the Cistercians at the Monastery of Chortaiton, near Thessalonica, devastated by the Saracens. The Bishop of Novara Gerardo had him reform a female Convent and settle some disputes between Lucedio and the municipality of Vercelli.
However, Oglerio was, above all, an excellent spiritual father, in the years in which the Church opposed the heresy of the Albigensians. Fortunately, the “Tractatus in laudibus Sanctae Dei Genitrix” and an “Expositio super Evangelium in Coena Domini” have come down to us of his writings, also precious from a literary point of view. The first, addressed in particular to consecrated women, narrates the glories of Mary, through the passages of the Gospel and defends her immunity from original sin from conception (what will be the dogma of the Immaculate Conception). The second contains thirteen homilies on the Eucharist, “bread of the Spirit”, dealing with chapters XIII – XV of the Gospel of John. Oglerio indicates Jesus as the Lamb sacrificed for the salvation of men and to his Monks he says the Eucharist is “the way, whereby you must go through, the truth you must come to, the life you must remain in” (sermon VII). Christ prevails over the devil for the virtues of “humility, patience and kindness” (sermon IX). He who “loved you without measure, without measure you must love Him” (Sermon I). Mary is “the uncorrupted virgin, the untempered virgin, the virgin before childbirth and after childbirth” (sermon III). His works, for a long time, were believed to be of St Bernard but, in 1661, Cardinal Giovanni Bona attributed them correctly. From them all the sweetness for his Monks shines – many were those trained by him in the school of holiness. The 13th century parchment codex (141 sheets) containing his writings was kept in the Staffarda Abbey, passed to the Royal Library of Turin and definitively, in 1724, to the University Library.
The illustrious Abbot from Trentino one day passed through a Ligurian city, driving away some evil spirits. This episode characterised its iconography (in the likeness of St Bernard) and in the Cistercian martyrology he is remembered as “terror of unclean spirits” but also, to remember his tireless apostolate as a peacemaker.
Now old, he died on 10 September 1214, with a great reputation as a saint among the people and in his Order. The body was placed first in the cloister of the Monastery, then under the main altar. An altar was dedicated to him in 1577, becoming the local parish. On 2 September 1616 there was a sacking of the Monastery by the soldiers of the Duke of Savoy but fortunately, the relics were not dispersed. In 1786 the Cistercians, moving, took them to Castelnuovo Scrivia. The people of Trento got them back on 9 September 1792 and they were definitively placed in the town’s parish Church, St Bartolomeo of Trino, which also includes the magnificent Altarpiece of the Immaculate Conception (see below). Pope Blessed Pius IX, on 8 April 1875, confirmed the cult and Beatified Oglerio. The Abbey of Lucedio was secularised by Pope Pius VI in 1784, the beautiful bell tower and a few elements of the complex remain original from the times of Oglerio, subsequently remodelled several times.
Beata Vergine Maria della Vita/Our Lady of Life: Celebration of the Blessed Virgin Mary as patroness of the Our Lady of Life Hospital in Bologna, Italy, and as depicted in a painting in a sanctuary dedicated to her c 1375 in the hospital. Patronage – hospitals in the diocese of Bologna, Italy.
Blessed Oglerio O.Cist (c 1136-1214) St Peter Martinez St Pulcheria St Salvius of Albi St Sosthenes of Chalcedon St Theodard of Maastricht St Victor of Chalcedon — Martyrs of Bithynia – 3 sister saints: Three young Christian sisters martyred in the persecutions of emperor Maximian and governor Fronto: Menodora, Metrodora, Nymphodora. They were martyred in 306 in Bithynia, Asia Minor (in modern Turkey).
Martyrs of Japan – 205 beati: A unified feast to memorialise 205 missionaries and native Japanese known to have been murdered for their faith between 1617 and 1637.
Martyrs of Sigum – 8 saints: A group of Nicomedian martyrs, condemned for their faith to be worked to death in the marble quarries of Sigum. There were priests, bishops and laity in the group but only a few names have come down to us: Dativus, Felix, Jader, Litteus, Lucius, Nemesian, Polyanus, Victor. They were worked to death c 257 in Sigum.
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War: • Blessed Félix España Ortiz • Blessed Leoncio Arce Urrutia • Blessed Tomàs Cubells Miguel