Thought for the Day – 19 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Month of the Holy Rosary” The First Part of the “Our Father”
“The Pater Noster, being God’s own composition, is the most perfect of prayers. It covers, moreover, all our obligations and all our needs. It may be divided into two parts, the first of which refers to God, the second to ourselves. We should ask, first of all for whatever is important to God and then, for whatever concerns ourselves. This is the command of Jesus. “Seek first the kingdom of God and His justice and all these things shall be given you besides” (Mt 6:33).
When we have invoked our Father in Heaven, we go onto pray: “Hallowed be Thy name.”
Let us think about this. What do we look for first of all when we pray? Is it the glory of God, or, is it our own self-interest? Which occupies the principal place in our thoughts, God, or our own ego? Let us remember that we have been created for the glory of God. We shall not find happiness, unless, we seek God’s glory alone, for God is our true welfare.
We must not allow ourselves to become absorbed in insignificant worldly objects, which can never completely satisfy us. Rather, must we keep our minds on God. “God alone is sufficient,” said St Teresa. Without Him, there is nothing good within us or around us.
When we say “Hallowed be Thy name,” moreover, we should not only give God’s glory precedence over all our desires but, we should also make an act of reparation for the countless blasphemies by which His name has been injured. How can we remain passive and inert, while our Creator and our Redeemer is being continually blasphemed and offended? At the very least, we can set against the diabolical insults of many of our fellow-men, our own humble and loving prayer: “May Thy name, my God, be blessed and glorified.”
Quote/s of the Day – 19 October – The Memorial of St Paul of the Cross CP (1604-1775)
“We ought to glory in nothing other than, the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. You are blessed and don’t know it. You have Jesus Crucified, with you!”
“Your crosses dear God, are the joy of my heart. How beautiful to suffer with Jesus.”
“Oh cherished cross! Through thee my most bitter trials are replete with graces!”
“The passion of Jesus is a sea of sorrows but it is also an ocean of love. Ask the Lord to teach you to fish in this ocean. Dive into its depths. No matter how deep you go, you will never reach the bottom.”
“Do not live any longer in yourself but let Jesus Christ live in you in such a way that the virtue of this Divine Saviour may be resplendent in all your actions, in order that all may see in you a true portrait of the Crucified and sense, the sweetest fragrance of the holy virtues of the Lord, in interior and exterior modesty, in patience, in gentleness, suffering, charity, humility and in all others that follow.”
“Look upon the face of the Crucified, who invites you to follow Him. He will be a Father, Mother–everything to you.”
One Minute Reflection – 19 October – Monday of the Twenty Ninth week in Ordinary Time, Readings: Ephesians 2:1-10, Psalms 100:1-2, 3,4, 4-5, Luke 12:13-21 and the Memorial of St Paul of the Cross CP (1604-1775)
“What shall I do? For I do not have space to store my harvest ” – Luke 12:17
REFLECTION – “What shall I do?” There was a ready response to this: “I will satisfy hungry souls, open up my barns, call in everyone in need… I will speak out words of generosity – all you, who are short of bread, come to me; each according to your needs, take your share of God’s gifts flowing like a public fountain.” Yet you, you foolish rich man, are very far from doing this! And why? Jealous of seeing others enjoy their wealth you give yourself up to wretched calculations – you are not anxious about how to distribute to each according to their need but how to take everything and deprive everyone else, of the profit they might have drawn from it…
So then, my brethren, take care you don’t experience the same fate as that man! If Scripture gives us this example, it is so, that we can avoid behaving in the same way. Imitate the earth! – bear fruit and don’t prove yourself worse than it, soulless as it is. It yields crops, not for it’s own pleasure but to serve you. To the contrary, all the fruit of the kindnesses you show, will be gathered for yourself, since the graces that arise from good works, return to those who bestow them. You have given to the hungry and what you gave, remains with you and even comes back to you, with increase. As the grain of wheat that fell into the earth brings profit to the sower, so the bread given to the hungry, will bring you superabundant profit later on. May the end of all your labours, be for you, the commencement of your sowing in heaven.” – St Basil The Great (329-379) Monk and Bishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia, Father and Doctor of the Church – Sermon 6, on Wealth
PRAYER – Almighty God, Your Priest Saint Paul, loved only the cross. May he obtain Your grace for us, so that, inspired with a new courage and the virtue of obedience and sacrifice, by his example, we may take up our cross without flinching. We make our prayer through Jesus Christ our Saviour, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, God now and for all eternity, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 19 October – Monday of the Twenty Ninth week in Ordinary Time and the Memorial of St Paul of the Cross CP (1604-1775)
Oh Jesus, My Love By St Paul of the Cross (1604-1775)
Oh Jesus, my Love, may my heart be consumed in loving Thee. Make me humble and holy; giving me childlike simplicity; transform me into Thy holy Love. O Jesus, life of my life, joy of my soul, God of my heart, accept my heart as an altar, on which I will sacrifice to Thee, the gold of ardent charity, the incense of continual, humble and fervent prayer and the myrrh of constant sacrifices! Amen
Saint of the Day – 19 October – Blessed Thomas Hélye (c 1180-1257) Priest, Penitent, Teacher, Missionary and renowned Preacher. Patronage – Biville, France.
Thomas Hélye was born between 1180 and 1187 in the hamlet of Gardin in the Parish of Saint-Pierre de Biville, France. Thomas’s parents, Hélye and Mathilde, were of modest means.
After having studied with the Benedictine monks of the priories of Vauville and Héauville and with the Augustinian canons of the Abbey of Notre-Dame du Vœu. In 1206, he became the Principal of the School of Cherbourg. He excelled in his talents as a teacher and was promoted to Governor of the schools of the region.
Following a serious illness which led him to the gates of death, he experienced a true conversion. Retiring to his brother, a Priest Fr Guillaume, in the hamlet of Gardin in his native parish of Biville, he led a life of penance. He neglected his person and concentrated solely on prayer, fasting and mortification.
In 1226, having learnt of his conduct, the Bishop of Coutances – Hugues de Morville – summoned him and encouraged him to consider his future. He made pilgrimages to Rome and Santiago de Compostella and thereafter, studied theology in Paris for four years. There his Professor and Confessor, both future cardinals, were impressed by his piety.
In 1235 he was Ordained a Priest by the Bishop of Morville. The Bishops of Coutances and Avranches who had noted his preaching abilities and his great desire to envanglise and teach the faithful, then entrusted him with a missionary ministry as an itinerant preacher. For twenty-two years, Thomas visited all the parishes of these diocese. He was greeted with fervour by the crowds with cries of “Here is the saint!” Here is the man of God! ”
At the end of his life, weakened by his privations and tireless missionary travels, Thomas Hélye retired to the manor of his friend Gauvain, Lord of Vauville . He died there on 19 October 1257. The next day, his body was taken to his native parish in neighbouring Biville supported by a huge crowd of mourners.
In 1794, his relics were hidden to prevent their destruction during the persecutions of the French Revolution. In 1910 his glass coffin was enclosed in a marble sarcophagus. If you look carefully at the photograph below, you will see a marble slab with a relief of Blessed Thomas. This slab covered the original tomb and has now been reset into the wall. The sarcophagus resides in the choir of the St Peters in Biville where he is venerated by many pilgrims and where many miracles have been reported. During the annual festivals of his feast day, pilgrims come from all over the region.
North American Martyrs (Optional Memorial) – 8 saints: Two priests and six lay-brothers, all Jesuits, who were sent as missionaries to the area of modern Canada and New York and who were murdered by the locals for their work. • Saint Antoine Daniel • Saint Charles Garnier • Saint Gabriel Lalemant • Saint Isaac Jogues • Saint Jean de Brébeuf • Saint Jean de la Lande • Saint Noel Chabanel • Saint Rene Goupil Canonised – 29 June 1930 by Pope Pius XI
St Philip Howard St Potenzianus of Sens St Ptolemy of Rome St Sabiniano of Sens St Theofrid Blessed Thomas Hélye (c 1180-1257) Priest St Varus of Kemet St Verano of Cavaillon — Martyred in the Spanish Civil War: 18 Beati • Blessed Antonio Elizalde Garvisu • Blessed Constantino Miguel Moncalvillo • Blessed Dionisio Arizaleta Salvador • Blessed Emiliano Pascual Abad • Blessed Eusebio de Las Heras Izquierdo • Blessed Ferran Castán Messeguer • Blessed Francesc Solá Peix • Blessed Francisco Marco Martínez • Blessed Francisco Milagro Mesa • Blessed Francisco Simón Pérez • Blessed Josep Ferrer Escolà • Blessed Josep Ribé Coma • Blessed Julio Leache Labiano • Blessed Juan Senosiaín Zugasti • Blessed Manuel Font y Font • Blessed Narcís Simón Sala • Blessed Nicolas Campo Giménez • Blessed Pere Vives Coll
Thought for the Day – 18 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Month of the Holy Rosary” The “Our Father”
“Our Lord exhorted His disciples on many occasions to pray often and with confidence, if they wished to be heard. Everything which they asked His heavenly Father, in His name, He said, they would obtain. Ask, He said and it shall be given you; seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened to you. Finally, He insisted that we ought to pray and never to give up. In other words, life can be a continuous prayer if we offer to God all our thoughts, words and actions.
The ideal Christian prayer is to do the will of God at all times from the motive of pure love. The Apostles, however, who had not made that much progress in the spiritual life, asked Jesus to teach them how to pray (Lk 11:1). It was then that Our Lord composed the most beautiful of prayer, the “Our Father” (Mt 6:9-13). When we recite it, we speak to God, in the words of Jesus Christ Himself and unite our weak voices, with the powerful voice of the Son of God. We address the Eternal God, moreover, by the name of Father. Even in the Old Testament, God is often referred to in this way. Then, however, He figured as the Father of the chosen people, whereas now, He is the Father of all. He is our Father, the Father of all mankind and of all races, whom He has willed to redeem from the slavery of sin. The term “Our Father” has taken on a new and fuller meaning. Our weak prayer becomes united to that of Jesus, our first-born Brother and to the prayers of the Apostles, Martyrs, Virgins and Confessors, who form and have formed, throughout the centuries, the Mystical Body of Christ, which is the Church. We need no longer feel that we are on our own, for through the Communion of Saints, our entreaties are joined to those of the entire Church, militant, suffering and triumphant. We can be confident, therefore, that our prayer will be heard!”
Quotes of the Day – 18 October – Feast of St Luke the Evangelist
“Most Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb.”
“And I say to you: Ask and it shall be given you; seek and you shall find; knock and it shall be opened to you. For everyone that asks receives and he that seeks finds and to him that knocks, it shall be opened.”
“Can any of you by worrying add a moment to your life-span?”
“For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.”
“Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man.”
“Stay with us, for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over.”
And Jesus said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” They said, “Caesar’s.” Then he said to them, “Therefore, render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God, the things that are God’s.” – Matthew 22:20-21
REFLECTION – In an ancient work known as the Incomplete Work on Matthew, an anonymous Ancient Christian Writer (ACW) offers the following insight on these verses from today’s Gospel: “The image of God is not depicted on gold but is imaged in humanity. The coin of Caesar is gold; that of God, humanity. Caesar is seen in his currency; God, however, is known through human beings. And so give your wealth to Caesar but reserve for God the sole innocence of your conscience, where God is beheld. For the hand of Caesar has crafted an image by likenesses and lives each year by renewable decree. However, the divine hand of God has shown His image in ten points.
What ten points? From five carnal ones and five spiritual ones through which we see and understand what things are useful under God’s image. So let us always reflect the image of God in these ways:
I do not swell up with the arrogance of pride; nor do I droop with the blush of anger; nor do I succumb to the passion of avarice; nor do I surrender myself to the ravishes of gluttony; nor do I infect myself with the duplicity of hypocrisy; nor do I contaminate myself with the filth of rioting; nor do I grow flippant with the pretension of conceit; nor do I grow enamoured of the burden of heavy drinking; nor do I alienate by the dissension of mutual admiration; nor do I infect others with the biting of detraction; nor do I grow conceited with the vanity of gossip.
I will reflect the image of God in that I feed on love; grow certain on faith and hope; strengthen myself on the virtue of patience; grow tranquil by humility; grow beautiful by chastity; am sober by abstention; am made happy by tranquillity and am ready for death, by practicing hospitality.
It is with such inscriptions that God imprints His coins with an impression made neither by hammer nor by chisel but has formed them, with His primary divine intention. For Caesar required his image on every coin but God has chosen man, whom He has created, to reflect His glory.” (Incomplete Work on Matthew, «Homily 40»)
PRAYER – Lord God, You chose St Luke to reveal the mystery of Your love in his preaching and his writings. Grant, we pray, that we may grow in love for the Holy Face of Christ, His words and His directions, revealed to us in the Gospels, in the example of your saints. Today, on his feast, we especially look to St Luke, to guide, teach and pray for us. We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, one God with You, forever and ever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 18 October – Twenty Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time
I Am Not Worthy, Holy Lord
I am not worthy, holy Lord, That Thou shouldst come to me; Speak but the word – one gracious word Can set the sinner free. I am not worthy; cold and bare The lodging of my soul; How canst Thou deign to enter there? Lord, speak and make me whole. Amen
Author – Rev H W Baker (1821–1877), was an English hymn writer.
Saint of the Day – 18 October – Saint Julian Sabas the Hermit (4th Century) Confessor and miracle-worker. He lived an ascetic life of fasting and prayer. He is also known as St Julian the Hermit of Mesopotamia.
St Julian, for his wisdom and prudence, was surnamed Sabas, which signifies in Syriac, the Grey or Old Man.
He flourished in the fourth century, living first in a damp cave near Edessa in Mesopotamia and afterwards on Mount Sinai in Arabia. Austere penance, manual labour and assiduous prayer and contemplation were the means by which he sanctified his soul.
He saw in spirit the death of Julian the Apostate in Persia, by which God delivered His Church from the storm with which that persecutor then threatened it.
When the Arians under Valens, were abusing the Church of Christ, he left his solitude and went to Antioch to dispute them and there, he wrought many miracles. When he had given an ample testimony to the true faith, he returned to his cell, where he instructed a great number of disciples, who edified the Church long after his death.
St John Chrysostom calls him a wonderful man and describes the great honour with which he was venerated both while he lived and after his death.
Through the efforts of Saint Julian, a Church was built on Mount Sinai, in memory of the obtaining of the tablets of the Law, by the holy Prophet Moses. The Church was built were it is believed that Moses was standing, when he received the tablets.
St Acutius of Pozzuoli St Asclepiades of Antioch St Athenodorus St Brothen Bl Burchard I St Cadwaladr of Brittany Bl Domenico of Perpignano St Eutychius of Pozzuoli St Gwen St Gwen of Tagarth St Gwendoline St Isaac Jogues St Julian Sabas the Hermit (4th Century) St Justus of Beauvais (c 278—c 287) Child of nine About St Justus: https://anastpaul.com/2019/10/18/saint-of-the-day-18-october-st-justus-of-beauvais-c-278-c-287-martyr/ Bl Margherita Tornielli St Monon of Nassogne St Proculus of Pozzuoli Bl Theobald of Narbonna St Tryphonia of Rome — Martyrs of Africa – 9 saints: A group of Christians martryed together in Africa. The only details that have survived are the names – Beresus, Dasius, Faustinus, Leucius, Lucius, Martialis, Victoricus, Victrix and Viktor. They were martyred in c.300 in Africa.
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War: • Blessed Alfredo Almunia López-Teruel • Blessed Francisco Roselló Hernández • Blessed Isidro Juan Martínez
Thought for the Day – 17 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Month of the Holy Rosary” The Fifth Glorious Mystery The Crowning of the Blessed Virgin Mary as Queen of Heaven and Earth
“When the Virgin Mary was borne into Heaven, soul and body, by the Angels, she was received with great rejoicing by the entire company of the blessed. A halo of light surrounded her, as her Divine Son, Jesus Christ, placed her on His right hand and proclaimed her Queen of Heaven and Earth. It was fitting that this supreme dignity should have been accorded her, for she was the beloved daughter of the Eternal Father, the Immaculate spouse of the Holy Spirit and the Mother of God, the Word made man and the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity.
Mary is Queen of the Angels because, even though she is inferior to them, by reason of her human nature, she is superior to them, by reason of her dignity as Mother of God. What Angel could say to the Incarnate Word: “You are my son?” What Angel could command Him, as she could, in her role of Mother?
Mary has yet another claim to her title which no Angel could ever have. She participated in the Passion of her Son Jesus,offering herself along with Him, as a victim of expiation. She made a contribution, in the supernatural order of the Redemption, which neither Angel nor Saint, could have made. With Jesus, through Jesus and in Jesus, she is the co-redemptrix of the human race. Let us bow low before such greatness and join with the choirs of the blessed, in paying homage to her.”
Quote/s of the Day – 17 October – The Memorial of St Ignatius of Antioch (c 35 – 107) Father of the Church, Martyr
“Wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church.”
(Letter to the Smyrnaeans, Ch 8)
“I have no taste for corruptible food nor for the pleasures of this life. I desire the Bread of God, which is the Flesh of Jesus Christ, who was of the seed of David and for drink, I desire His Blood, which is love incorruptible.”
“Only let it be in the name of Jesus Christ, that I may suffer together with Him! I endure everything because He Himself, Who is perfect man, empowers me.”
One Minute Reflection – 17 October – Saturday of the Twenty-eighth week in Ordinary Time, Readings: Ephesians 1:15-23, Psalms 8:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, Luke 12:8-12 and the Memorial of
“The Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.” … Luke 12:12
REFLECTION – “All the saints were arrested and brought before the urban prefect at Rome, a man named Rusticus. After they had been arraigned, the prefect said to Justin: (…) “What are the doctrines that you practise ?” “I have tried to become acquainted,” said Justin, “with all doctrines. But I have committed myself to the true doctrines of the Christians (…)” “What belief do you mean?” Justin said: “The belief that we piously hold regarding the God the Christians, whom alone we hold to be the craftsman of the whole world from the beginning and also regarding Jesus Christ, child of God, who was also foretold by the prophets, as one who was to come down to mankind as a herald of salvation and teacher of good doctrines. What I say is insignificant when measured against His Godhead but, I acknowledge the power of prophecy (…), for you must know that in earlier times the prophets foretold His coming among men.”
Rusticus the prefect said: “Tell me, where do you meet, where do you gather together your disciples?” Justin said: “I have been living above the baths of a certain Martinus, son of Timothy (…) Anyone who wished could come to my abode and I would impart to him the words of truth.” “You do admit, then, that you are a Christian?” “Yes, I am”. To Chariton, the prefect, Rusticus said: “Chariton, are you a Christian, too?” “I am,” said Chariton, “by God’s command” (…) “And what are you Evelpistus?” “I too am a Christian. I have been freed by Christ and I share in the same hope by the favour of Christ” (…) “Did Justin convert you to Christianity?” “I have long been a Christian and ever shall be (…) I listened gladly to the teaching of Justin but my Christianity I received from my parents.” (…) Paeon arose and spoke: “I am a Christian also.” The prefect Rusticus said to Liberian: “And what have you to say? Are you a Christian and do you also refuse to be pious?” Liberian said: “Yes, I too am a Christian. I believe in the one, true God and worship Him.”
The prefect turned to Justin: “You are said to be learned and you think you know the true doctrine. Now listen – if you are scourged and beheaded, do you suppose that you will ascend to heaven (…) to receive certain worthy rewards?” “I have confidence that, if I endure all this, I shall possess His mansions. Indeed, I know that for all those who lead a just life, there awaits the divine gift even to the consummation of the whole world (…) I do not think it but I have accurate knowledge of it; I am fully convinced of it.” … Acts of the Martyrdom of Saint Justin and his companions (c 165).
PRAYER – “I am the wheat of God and am ground by the teeth of the wild beasts, that I may be found the pure bread of God. I long after the Lord, the Son of the true God and Father, Jesus Christ. Him I seek, who died for us and rose again. I am eager to die for the sake of Christ. My love has been crucified and there is no fire in me that loves anything. But there is living water springing up in me and it says to me inwardly, “Come to the Father” Amen – A Martyr’s Prayer – By St Ignatius of Antioch (c 35 – 107) Father of the Church, Martyr
Our Morning Offering – 17 October – Saturday of the Twenty-eighth week in Ordinary Time
Dear and Sweet Mother Mary By Blessed James Alberione (1884-1971)
Dear and sweet Mother Mary, keep your holy hand upon me; guard my mind, my heart and my senses, that I may never commit sin. Sanctify my thoughts, affections, words and actions, so that I may please you and your Jesus, my God, and reach heaven with you. Jesus and Mary, give me your holy blessing; In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen
Saint of the Day – 17 October – Blessed Balthassar of Chiavari OFM (1420–1492) Religious Priest of the Order of Friars Minor of the strict observance, Confessor, renowned Preacher, Professor of Theology, Superior General. Born in 1420 in Chiavari, Genoa, Italy as Baldassare Ravaschieri and died on 17 October 1492 in Binasco, Milan, Italy of natural causes. Patronages – Chiavari, against gout.
After his Ordination and his work in the Seminary as a Lecturer of Theology, he was appointed as the Guardian (Superior) of the Monastery of Chiavari and Provincial General of the province of Genoa. Unfortunately, his work was interrupted by his ever-deteriorating health after he developed gout but this did not stop his pastoral activities completely. When he was too ill to walk, he made sure that he was carried into the Church so that he could assist at Mass and the Office and he developed a special service in the confessional. Large crowds flocked to the city to confess to him and to receive spiritual guidance.
To gain some time and peace for his own spiritual needs, he used to be carried out into the nearby forests, where he stayed for periods of meditation and reading. During one of these periods, he was granted a vision of the Virgin Mary and it was said that he was miraculously sheltered from a dangerous snowfall, the spot he was sitting in, remained free of snow.
He distinguished himself in all the virtues of a good religious, practiced the greatest personal severities, fasted much and considered it a real pleasure to be accounted the last among his brethren.
After he had completed his term in office, Blessed Balthassar of Chiavari withdrew to the Convent at Binasco. There he devoted himself entirely to the contemplation of heavenly things and to the salvation of immortal souls.
We can also labour for souls by our good example. While Balthassar was a Superior in the Order, he set a good example to his brother friars. Words stir people but example carries them away, says a Latin proverb. Hence, St Paul says to Timothy: “Be an example to the faithful in word, in conversation.” (I Tim 4,12).
He died on 17 October 1492, aged 73, in Binasco between Milan and Pavia in northern Italy. His mortal remains were moved from there to Pavia in 1805. A local cult developed very quickly and it has continued ever since. He was Beatified on 8 January 1930 by his cult being confirmed by Pope Pius XI. Blessed Balthassar is honoured in the Diocese of Pavia on 25 October.
St Anstrudis of Laon Blessed Balthassar of Chiavari OFM (1420–1492) Bl Battista de Bonafede St Berarius I of Le Mans St Catervus St Colman of Kilroot St Ethelbert of Eastry St Ethelred of Eastry St Florentius of Orange St Francois Isidore Gagelin (1799-1833) Priest and Martyr His Life and Death: https://anastpaul.com/2019/10/17/saint-of-the-day-17-october-saint-francois-isidore-gagelin-1799-1833-priest-and-martyr/ Bl Gilbert the Theologian St Heron of Antioch Bl Jacques Burin St John the Short/Dwarf St Louthiern St Mamelta of Persia St Nothelm of Canterbury St Richard Gwyn St Rudolph of Gubbio St Rufus of Rome St Serafino of Montegranaro St Solina of Chartres St Zosimus of Rome — Martyrs of Nicomedia – 3 saints: A group of Christians martyred in the persecutions of Diocletian. The only details about them that have survived are their names – Alexander, Marianus and Victor. 303 in Nicomedia (in modern Turkey).
Martyrs of Valenciennes -5 beati: A group of Ursuline nuns martyred in the persecutions of the French Revolution. • Hyacinthe-Augustine-Gabrielle Bourla • Jeanne-Reine Prin • Louise-Joseph Vanot • Marie-Geneviève-Joseph Ducrez • Marie-Madeleine-Joseph Déjardins
Martyrs of Volitani: A group of martyrs who were praised by Saint Augustine of Hippo. In Volitani, proconsular Africa (in modern Tunisia).
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War: • BlessedFidel Fuidio Rodriguez • BlessedJosé Sánchez Medina • BlessedPerfecto Carrascosa Santos • BlessedTársila Córdoba Belda de Girona
Thought for the Day – 16 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Month of the Holy Rosary” The Fourth Glorious Mystery The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin into Heaven
“The fourth Book of Kings tells us, that the prophet Elias was brought up into Heaven in a fiery chariot without having first endured the pains and humiliations of death (Cf 4 Kings 2:11). Why did God not do likewise in the case of the Blessed Virgin, commanding His Angels to bear her to Heaven before death struck her innocent body? As St Paul says, it was sin which caused death to enter the world. From the moment of her conception, Mary was free from the slightest taint of sin, for she was immaculate and full of grace. Nevertheless, according to the most widely held tradition, Mary chose to die, even as her divine Son had willed to die. Jesus “was offered because it was his own will” (Isa 53:7). The same is true in Mary’s case, with only this difference. Jesus died a cruel death after the most hideous tortures in the midst of a blaspheming and hate-ridden mob. Nothing like this happened to Mary, although she is called the Queen of Martyrs because of the sword which pierced her soul at the sight of her divine Son, dying in such agony.
Jesus willed, however, that the immaculate body of His Mother would remain intact. It was only her great love and intense desire of being reunited with her Son, which gradually consumed her mortal life. Her ever-incresing love for God, broke the bonds of her mortal frame until she went to sleep at last, in the Lord.
Quote/s of the Day – 16 October – The Memorial of St Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690) “Apostle of the Sacred Heart”
“Announce it and let it be announced to the whole world, that I set neither limit nor measure to my gifts of grace, for those who seek them in my Heart.”
Revelations of Our Lord to St Margaret Mary Alacoque
“The Sacred Heart is the symbol of that boundless love which moved the Word to take flesh, to institute the Holy Eucharist, to take our sins upon Himself and, dying on the Cross, to offer Himself as a victim and sacrifice to the eternal Father.”
“O Heart of love, I put all my trust in Thee, for I fear all things, from my own weakness, but I hope for all things, from Thy Goodness.”
“Let every knee bend before You, O greatness of my God, so supremely humbled in the Sacred Host. May every heart love You, every spirit adore You and every will be subject to You!”
The Twelve Promises of Jesus to Saint Margaret Mary or those Devoted to His Sacred Heart:
I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life.
I will establish peace in their families.
I will console them in all their troubles.
They shall find in My Heart an assured refuge during life and especially at the hour of their death.
I will pour abundant blessings on all their undertakings.
Sinners shall find in My Heart the source of an infinite ocean of mercy.
Tepid souls shall become fervent.
Fervent souls shall speedily rise to great perfection.
I will bless the homes where an image of My Heart shall be exposed and honoured.
I will give to priests the power of touching the most hardened hearts.
Those who propagate this devotion shall have their names written in My Heart, never to be effaced.
The all-powerful love of My Heart will grant to all those who shall receive Communion on the First Friday of nine consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they shall not die under my displeasure, nor without receiving their Sacraments; My heart shall be their assured refuge at that last hour.
From Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque’s Vision of Jesus
St Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690) “Apostle of the Sacred Heart“
One Minute Reflection – 16 October – Friday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time, Readings: Ephesians 1:11-14, Psalms 33:1-2, 4-5,12-13, Luke 12:1-7 and the Memorial of St Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690) “Apostle of the Sacred Heart” and St Gall (c 550–c 646) Missionary to Switzerland
“Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. ” … Luke 12:1
REFLECTION – “Christ told His friends, that is, His disciples, to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and scribes, meaning, by leaven, their false pretense. Hypocrisy is hateful to God and humanity. It does not bring a reward and it is utterly useless for the salvation of the soul. It is rather the cause of its damnation. Although sometimes it may escape detection for a little while, before long, it is sure to be uncovered and bring disgrace on them. It is like an unattractive woman when she is stripped of that external embellishment which she produced by artificial means.” – St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Known as ‘The Pillar of Faith,”Archbishop of Alexandria (Commentary on Luke, Homily 86)
“How sensible is Our Lord’s warning to us … to be beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy – professing without practising. He warns us against it, as leaven, as a subtle insinuating evil which will silently spread itself throughout the whole character … He warns us that the pretence of religion never deceives beyond a little time … Let us remember, that all who follow God with but a half heart, strengthen the hands of His enemies, … perplex inquirers after truth and bring reproach upon their Saviour’s name …. Woe unto the deceiver and self-deceived! …. God give us grace to flee from this woe while we still have time! Let us examine ourselves, to see if there be any wicked way in us. … And, let us pray God to enlighten us and to guide us and, to give us the will to please Him and the power.” – St John Henry Newman C.Orat (1801-1890)
PRAYER – Lord Jesus Christ, You wondrously revealed all of the deep treasures of Your Heart to St Margaret Mary. May her merits and example win us the grace to love You above all things and in all things so that we may make our abode in Your own Sacred Heart. St Margaret Mary, pray for us that we may live in the Sacred Heart of Christ our Lord and may the prayer of St Gall lead us to be lights of the truth. Through You, Lord Jesus, who live and reign forever, in union with God our Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 16 October – Friday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time and the Memorial of St Gall (c 550–c 646) Missionary to Switzerland with St Columban
May We Love Only You By St Columban (543-615)
Loving Saviour, be pleased to show Yourself to us who knock, so that in knowing You, we may love only You, love You alone, desire You alone, contemplate only You, day and night and always think of You. Inspire in us the depth of love that is fitting for You to receive as God. So may Your love pervade our whole being, possess us completely and fill all our senses, that we may know no other love but love for You, Who are everlasting. May our love be so great, that the many waters of sky, land and sea cannot extinguish it in us – many waters could not extinguish love. May this saying be fulfilled in us also, at least in part, by Your gift, Jesus Christ, our Lord, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen
Saint of the Day – 16 October – Saint Gall (c 550–c 646) Monk, Missionary, Hermit – he was a disciple and one of the traditional twelve companions of Saint Columbanus on his mission from Ireland to the continent. He is also known as Callo, Chelleh, Gaaech, Gallen, Gallo, Gallonus, Gallunus, Gallus, Gilianus. Saint Deicolus was the elder brother of Gall. An assiduous preacher of the Gospel, a skilful trainer of people in the work of evangelisation, and a man of remarkable holiness of his life, Saint Gall left an abiding mark on the country in which he worked. His memory has long been revered in the locality of his labours he became known and honoured as the “Apostle of Switzerland.” Patronages – bears, birds, geese, poultry, Sweden, Switzerland, St Gallen and the Diocese of St Gallen, Switzerland.
Little is known of the boyhood of Gall except, that it is generally thought that he showed great piety and interest in the Christian faith. As a young man he went to study under St Comgall of Bangor. St Comgall’s Monastery at Bangor had become renowned throughout Europe as a great centre of Christian learning. Because of the great learning at Bangor, Ireland became known as “the land of Saints and Scholars.” Missionaries went out from Bangor Abbey to all parts of Ireland, the British Isles and the Continent.
Studying in Bangor at the same time as Gall, was St Columbanus who, had become a trusted assistant to St Comgall. St Columbanus, although so established at Bangor, felt a great call to missionary evangelisation. And so he laid before the Abbott Comgall his request to be set free for this work.
Comgall was loath to part with one who had become so great a help and comfort to him but, realising that he had no right to consider only his own convenience, he gave his consent and Columbanus, together with twelve companions, the most noted of whom was Gall, set out about the year 589, bidding a life-long farewell to home and friends in order to face unknown difficulties and danger,s for the glory of God’s Kingdom across Europe.
Columbanus and Gall and their companions settled for a while in Switzerland at Lake Constance. After a while Columbanus felt an urge to go into Italy but Gall was taken sick of a fever and couldn’t go with him, apart from the fact that he was more anxious for a life of solitude. Recovering from his illness, Gall fixed upon a quiet place on the River Steinach for his life of solitude. Having begun with a three day fast there, he erected a small stone hut or cell for prayer, an oratory after the manner usual in Ireland. And so began the Abbey and the City of Saint Gall. Cells were soon added for twelve monks whom Gall carefully instructed.
Saint Gall was soon known in Switzerland as a powerful preacher. He is said to have thrown down images to heathen gods and exhorted the worshippers of these images to return to the true God. As a result of Gall’s work, practically the whole of Switzerland embraced the Christian faith.
When the See of Constance became vacant, the clergy, who assembled to elect a new Bishop, were unanimously in favour of Saint Gall on account of his superior learning and sanctity. He, however, refused, pleading that the election of a stranger would be contrary to Church law but proposed his Deacon John, who was duly elected and consecrated Bishop.
In the year 625, on the death of Eustasius, who was Abbott of Luxeuil, a Monastery founded by Saint Columbanus, six members of that community, all Irishmen, were sent by the Monks to request Saint Gall to undertake the government of the Monastery. He refused to quit his life of solitude and undertake any office of rank which might involve him in the cares of the world.
A miracle about Saint Gall in his solitary life has become well-known. The story tells how a bear became St Gall’s sole/soul friend in the closing years of his life and that the bear used to carry logs to the saint so that he could light his fire. The bear has now become the coat of arms for the town of St Gallen in Switzerland and the bear carrying the logs is depicted on the wall of the great Cathedral there.
Saint Gall died on 16 October in the year 645, at the age of 95 and that date – is now honoured in Ireland each year as Saint Gall’s Day. The tradition in St Gall’s Church, is celebrated with each member of the congregation arriving for Mass with their teddy bear on that day.
After his death, a small church was erected which developed into the Abbey of St Gall, the nucleus of the Canton of St Gallen in eastern Switzerland, the first abbot of which was Saint Othmar. The “Abbey of St Gall,” was named for the saint who had lived in this place and whose relics were honoured there. Below is the world-famous Basilica Cathedral, the renowned Baroque Interior, the Abbey and the very important Library at St Gall’s Abbey.
When Columbanus, Gall and their companions left Ireland for mainland Europe, they took with them learning and the written word. Their effect on the historical record was significant, as the books were painstakingly reproduced on vellum by monks across Europe. Many of the Irish texts destroyed in Ireland during Viking raids were preserved in Abbeys across the channel.
St Martinian of Mauretania St Mummolinus St Saturian of Mauretania St Silvanus of Ahun St Victor of Cologne St Vitalis of Noirmoutier — Martyrs in Africa – 220 saints: A group of 220 Christians martyrs about whom we know nothing but that they died for their faith.
Martyrs of North Africa – 365 saints: A group of 365 Christians who were martyred together in the persecutions of the Vandal king Genseric. The only details that have survived are the names of two of the martyrs – Nereus and Saturninus. 450 in North Africa.
Thought for the Day – 15 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Month of the Holy Rosary” The Third Glorious Mystery The Descent of the Holy Spirit
“Before He left this earth for the glory of Heaven, Jesus promised His Apostles that He would not leave them orphans but would send them the Paraclete, the Spirit of Truth, “whom the world cannot receive because, it neither sees him, nor knows him” (1 Jn 14:16-18). This promise was repeated by our divine Redeemer on the day of His Ascension, when He told them not to depart from Jerusalem until the promise would have been fulfilled. In fact, the Apostles were obedient to His instructions. They gathered together in the Cenacle, where, they spent the time in constant prayer, along with Mary and a number of the faithful. On the feast of Pentecost, the house was shaken by a sound from Heaven as of a violent wind blowing and tongues of fire appeared, which settled on each one of them. Then they were all filled with the Holy Spirit (Cf Act 1:2).
According to a pious tradition, the Holy Spirit descended first on the Blessed Virgin in the form of a ball of flame, from which emerged the tongues of fire, which alighted on the heads of all present. There is a good deal of significance in this tradition. As Mary took first place in sharing in the passion of Jesus, so, she ought to be first to share in the glory of the Redemption. St Bernard compared the Blessed Virgin to an aquaduct, bearing the treasures of grace and the gifts of the Holy Spirit, to all the faithful (Sermo de Aquaeducru). It is an apt comparison, for the Mother of the Redeemer occupies a position of supremacy in the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ. Like the Apostles, we should persevere in prayer with Mary (Cf Acts 1:14). We should ask for the light and the gifts of the Holy Spirit, for we need them very much, if we are to walk always, in the way of truth and goodness.”
Quotes of the Day – 15 October – The Memorial of St Teresa of Jesus of Avila OCD (1515-1582) Doctor of the Church – “Doctor of Prayer”
“There is more value in a little study of humility and, in a single act of it, than in all the knowledge in the world.”
“You ought to make every effort to free yourselves, even from venial sin and to do what is most perfect.”
“There are more tears shed over answered prayers, than over unanswered prayers.”
“The surest way to determine. whether one possesses the love of God, is to see, whether he or she loves his or her neighbour. These two loves are never separated. Rest assured, the more you progress in love of neighbour, the more your love of God will increase.”
“Remember that you have only one soul; that you have only one death to die; that you have only one life. . . . If you do this, there will be many things about which you care nothing.”
“There is no such thing as bad weather. All weather is good because, it is God’s.”
One Minute Reflection – 15 October – Thursday of the Twenty-eighth week in Ordinary Time, Readings: Ephesians 1:1-10, Psalms 98:1, 2-3,3-4, 5-6, Luke 11:47-54 and the Memorial of St Teresa of Jesus of Avila (1515-1582) Doctor of the Church “Doctor of Prayer”
The scribes and the Pharisees began to press him hard … lying in wait for him … Luke 11:53-54
REFLECTION – “With a fear mingled with joy I consider it desirable to say something here about the sufferings you endured for my sake, O God of us all! Standing before the tribunal of men You Yourself had created in a nature that was my own You said nothing, You who give us speech; You did not speak aloud, You who create the tongue; You did not shout out, You who shake the earth (…) You did not give up to shame the one who gave You up to the terrors of death; You showed no resistance when You were bound and when You were struck, you were not outraged. When they spat on You, You did not swear back and when they struck You with the fist, You did not tremble. When they taunted You, You were not angered and when they hit You, Your face did not change (…) Far from giving You a moment of respite, O source of life, they at once prepared for carrying the instrument of death. You accepted it graciously, took it gently, hoisted it patiently. You took upon Yourself, like a criminal, the tree of sorrow!” – St Gregory of Narek (c 951-c 1010) Doctor of the Church, Armenian Monk, mystical Philosopher, Theologian and Poet – Book of prayers, no 77
PRAYER – Almighty God, our Father, You sent St Teresa of Jesus to be a witness in the Church to the way of perfection. Sustain us by her spiritual doctrine and kindle in us, the longing for true holiness. Through Christ, our Lord, in union with the Holy Spirit, God forever. May the intercession of St Teresa be a source of strength, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 15 October – Thursday of the Twenty-eighth week in Ordinary Time – The Memorial of St Thecla of Kitzengen OSB (Died c 790) Missionary apostle with St Boniface
Eternal God, Our Refuge By St Boniface (672-754) “The Apostle of Germany”
Eternal God, the refuge and help of all Your children, we praise You for all You have given us, for all You have done for us, for all that You are to us. In our weakness, You are strength, in our darkness, You are light, in our sorrow, You are comfort and peace. We cannot number Your blessings, we cannot declare Your love. For all Your blessings, we bless You. May we live as in Your presence, and love the things that You love, and serve You in our daily lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Saint of the Day – 15 October – St Thecla of Kitzengen OSB (Died c 790) a Benedictine nun and abbess. Born in England, she went to Germany to assist Saint Boniface in his missionary labours. She died in c790 at Kitzingen Abbey, Germany of natural causes. She is also known as Thecla of England, Tecla, Heilga.
The clues about Saint Thecla are tantalising. Who was this nun entrusted to govern two Abbeys in eighth century Francia, east of the Rhine, a more dangerous area than her native Britain?
She was a kinswoman of Saint Lioba (c 710–782) who, in turn, was kin of St Boniface. Thecla lived with St Lioba and other Benedictine nuns at Wimbourne, a double monastery governed by Saint Tetta.
The savage Teutonic people of Northern Europe were brought to Christ by missionaries in the eighth century. The most famous of these gospel-bearers was St Boniface. Among his helpers were women. He asked Tetta, the abbess of Wimborne, Dorset, to send him assistants. Tetta sent Lioba and Thecla to his aid.
Boniface appointed these women as heads of monastic institutions observing the Benedictine rule. Boniface must have trusted Thecla a great deal because he put her charge of two Abbeys, one at Ochsenfurt and the other at Kitzingen. Their work endured even after he had been butchered by pagans. Many a man has been able to work on his feet because others supported him on their knees. Boniface relied on his “daughters” as more than heads of Abbeys. He called on them to be his prayer partners.
In a famous letter to the “…revered and dearly loved sisters Leobgith and Thecla and to Cynehild,” he wrote: “I urge and direct you, beloved daughters, to pray to our Lord frequently, as we trust you do constantly and will continue to do, as you have in the past … and know that we praise God and our heart’s yearning grows, that God our Lord, refuge of the poor and hope of the lowly, will free us from our straits and the trials of this evil age, that His word may spread and the wonderful Gospel of Christ be held in honour, that His grace be not fruitless in me… And… pray that I may not die without some fruit for that Gospel.”
Abbesses at this time were in positions of power and influence and acted autonomously. That Thecla was responsible for two Abbeys tells us how much Boniface trusted her, both for her abilities and loyalty. The 11th century Passion of Boniface says, “She shone like a light in a dark place.”
It seems that Thecla’s character was so noble that when she oversaw Kitzingen, she was simply called Heilga, which means “The Saint.” This day, 15 October is her feast day. The Roman martyrlogy states – “In Germany, St Thecla, thanks be to God.”
She is believed to have died around 790, after more than 40 years in Francia. Her relics were at Kitzingen and her cult apparently was strong in the 11th century.
But there is a sad postscript centuries later. In 1525 during the Peasants War, the tombs of Thecla and another saint were desecrated and when the church was rebuilt in 1695, the bodies were covered with rubbish. Despite this outrage, the echoes of the good they did cannot be muted and we are sure that they will rise again at the resurrection.
St Antiochus of Lyon St Aurelia of Strasbourg St Callistus of Huesca St Cannatus of Marseilles Bl Cipriano Alguacil Torredenaida St Euthymius the Younger Bl Josefa Martínez Pérez St Leonard of Vandoeuvre Bl Narcis Basté y Basté Bl Pere Verdaguer Saurina Bl Ramón Esteban Bou Pascual St Sabinus of Catania St Severus of Trier St Thecla of Kitzengen OSB (Died c 790) St Willa of Nonnberg — Martyrs of Cologne: A group of 360 Christian soldiers martyred together in the persecutions of Diocletian and Maximian. They were martyred in 303 outside the city walls of Cologne, Germany.
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War: • Blessed Cipriano Alguacil Torredenaida • Blessed Josefa Martínez Pérez • Blessed Narcis Basté y Basté • Blessed Pere Verdaguer Saurina • Blessed Ramón Esteban Bou Pascual