Thought for the Day – 23 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Month of the Holy Rosary” “As We Also Forgive Our Debtors”
“When we ask God to forgive us, we promise to forgive those who have offended us. Unless we are to be guilty of deception, therefore, we must pardon them. If we refuse to forgive, God will not forgive us. Jesus tells us in the Gospel, to pardon offences not seven times but, seventy times seven (Cf Mt 18:22). In other words, we must always be prepared to forgive. He tells us to return good for evil and to turn the other cheek when someone strikes us.
Not alone did Jesus command us to do this but, He also set us an example. While He was suffering fearful torments on the Cross and was surrounded by jeering enemies, He turned to His heavenly Father and uttered those sublime words: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Lk 23:24).
How could we gaze at the Crucifix and dare to refuse forgiveness to anyone? No matter how grave may seem the injuries done to us by our neighbour, let us remember, that they are insignificant in comparison with the insults which we have dared to offer to the infinite majesty of our Creator. They are as the hundred denarii compared with the ten thousand talents of Christ’s parable (Mt 18:24-28).
If we wish to receive God’s pardon, therefore, let us be prepared to forgive. Let our forgiveness be sincere, however and, not a mere formal token. The forgiveness freely granted by a heart scourged by the injuries of others, is a pleasing sacrifice offered to God.”
Quote/s of the Day – 23 October – Feast of the Most Holy Redeemer
“I did not come to condemn the world but to save the world.”
“Come along then, every human family, full of sin as you are and receive the forgiveness of your sins. For I Myself, am your forgiveness, I am the Passover of salvation, the Lamb slain for your sakes, your redemption, life and resurrection; I am your Light, your Salvation and your King. It is I, who lead you to the heights of heaven, I, who will raise you up; it is I, who will bring you to see the Father who is from all eternity; it is I, who will raise you up by My all-powerful Hand.”
St Melito of Sardis (Died c 180) Bishop, Apologist
“Many indeed are the wondrous happenings of that time: God hanging from a Cross, the sun made dark and again flaming out; for it was fitting, that creation should mourn with its Creator. The temple veil rent, Blood and Water flowing from His Side – the one as from a Man, the other as from what was above man; the earth shaken, the rocks shattered because of the Rock; the dead risen to bear witness to the final and universal resurrection of the dead. The happenings at the sepulchre and after the sepulchre, who can fittingly recount them? Yet not one of them, can be compared, to the Miracle of my Salvation. A few drops of Blood renews the whole world and do, for all men, what the rennet does for the milk – joining us and binding us together!”
St Gregory of Nazianzen (330-390) Father and Doctor of the Church
“The light of Christ is an endless day that knows no night.”
“Our Saviour’s passion raises men and women from the depths, lifts them up from the earth and sets them in the heights.”
St Maximus of Turin (? – c 420)
“As they were looking on, so we too gaze on His wounds as He hangs. We see His blood as He dies. We see the price offered by the Redeemer, touch the scars of His Resurrection. He bows His head, as if to kiss you. His heart is made bare open, as it were, in love to you. His arms are extended, that He may embrace you. His whole body is displayed for your redemption. Ponder how great these things are. Let all this be rightly weighed in your mind – as He was once fixed to the cross, in every part of His body for you, so He may now be fixed in every part of your soul.”
St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of Grace
“Mount Calvary is the mount of lovers. All love that takes not it’s beginning from Our Saviour’s Passion is frivolous and dangerous. Unhappy is death without the love of the Saviour, unhappy is love without the death of the Saviour! Love and death are so mingled in the Passion of Our Saviour that we cannot have the one in our heart without the other. Upon Calvary one cannot have life without love, nor love without the death of Our Redeemer.”
St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor of Charity
“Yes, my gentle Redeemer, let me say it, You are crazy with love! Is it not foolish for You to have wanted to die for me? But if You, my God, have become crazy with love for me, how can I not become crazy with love for You?”
St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) Most Zealous Doctor
Prayer Before The Crucifix – The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass By St Vincent Strambi (1745-1824)
Jesus, by this Saving Sign, bless this listless soul of mine. Jesus, by Your feet nailed fast, mend the missteps of my past. Jesus, with Your riven hands, bend my will to love’s demands. Jesus, in Your Heart laid bare, warm my inner coldness there. Jesus, by Your thorn-crowned head, still my pride till it is dead. Jesus, by Your muted tongue, stay my words that hurt someone. Jesus, by Your tired eyes, open mine to faith’s surprise. Jesus, by Your fading breath, keep me faithful until death. Yes, Lord, by this Saving Sign, save this wayward soul of mine. Amen
“He perspired blood in the Garden of Gethsemane, He was betrayed by Judas, denied by Peter and, abandoned by the Apostles, He was bound like a criminal, insulted, scourged, crowned with thorns, condemned to death and burdened with a cross; finally, when He arrived at Calvary, He was nailed to the gibbet, where He shed His Precious Blood and gave His life for our redemption. Such was the extent of Jesus’ infinite love for us. “Calvary” writes St Francis de Sales,“is the school of love.” The Saints were moved to tears by the strange spectacle of God-made-man, dying on the Cross for men. What is our reaction?”
“You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?”… Luke 12:56
REFLECTION – “The gospel tells us that some people were rebuked by the Lord because, clever as they were at reading the face of the sky, they could not recognise the time for faith when the kingdom of heaven was at hand. It was the Jews who received this reprimand but it has also come down to us. The Lord Jesus began His preaching of the gospel with the admonition: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Mt 4:17). His forerunner, John the Baptist, began his in the same way: “Repent,” he said, “for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Mt 3:2). Today, for those who will not repent at the approach of the kingdom of heaven, the reproof of the Lord Jesus is the same… As for when the end of the world will be, that is God’s concern… Even so, the time is very near for each of us, for we are mortal. There are hazards all around us. We should be in less danger from them were we made of glass. What more fragile than a vessel of glass? And yet it can be kept safe and last indefinitely. Of course it is exposed to accidents but it is not liable to old age and the suffering it brings. We, therefore, are the more frail and infirm. In our weakness we are haunted by fears of all the calamities that regularly befall the human race and if no such calamity overtakes us, still, time marches on. We may evade the blows of fortune but shall we evade death? We may escape perils from without but shall we escape what comes from within us? Now, suddenly, we may be attacked by any malady. And if we are spared? Even so, old age comes at last and nothing will delay it.”… St Augustine (354-430) – Father & Doctor of the Church – Sermon 109
PRAYER – Lord God, You fill us with Your grace and teach us true faith. Strengthen in our hearts that faith that no trials may quench the fire, that we may seek Your face in every moment and accept AND LIVE all of Your will. Send us Your Spirit to keep the fire blazing. By the inspiration and prayers of Blessed John Angelo Porro, may we grow in sanctity and may the humble love and intercession of Mary Mother of our faith, be our succour. Through Jesus Your Son our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 23 October – Feast of the Most Holy Redeemer and Friday of the Twenty Ninth week in Ordinary Time
Soul of Christ, sanctify me. Body of Christ, save me. Blood of Christ, inebriate me. Water from the side of Christ, wash me. Passion of Christ, strengthen me. O Good Jesus, hear me. Within Your wounds hide me. Permit me not to be separated from You. From the wicked foe, defend me. At the hour of my death, call me and bid me come to You That with Your saints, I may praise You Forever and ever. Amen
For many years the prayer was popularly believed to have been composed by Saint Ignatius Loyola, as he puts it at the beginning of his Spiritual Exercises and often refers to it. In the first edition of the Spiritual Exercises Ignatius merely mentions it, evidently supposing that the reader would know it. In later editions, it was printed in full. It was by assuming that everything in the book was written by Ignatius that it came to be looked upon as his composition. On this account the prayer is sometimes referred to as the Aspirations of St Ignatius Loyola.
However, the prayer actually dates to the early fourteenth century and was possibly written by Pope John XXII but its authorship remains uncertain. It has been found in a number of prayer books printed during the youth of Ignatius and is in manuscripts which were written a hundred years before his birth.
The English hymnologist James Mearns found it in a manuscript of the British Museum which dates back to about 1370. In the library of Avignon there is preserved a prayer book of Cardinal Pierre de Luxembourg (died 1387), which contains the prayer in practically the same form as we have it today. It has also been found inscribed on one of the gates of the Alcázar of Seville, which dates back to the time of Pedro the Cruel (1350–1369).
Saint of the Day – 23 October – Blessed John Angelo Porro OSM (1451-1505) Priest, Religious of the Order of Servants of Mary, Penitent, Catechist, Hermit – born in 1451 in Seveso, Duchy of Milan and died on 23 October 1505 (aged 54) Milan, Italy. Patronage – Sick children. Blessed John’s tomb became a place of pilgrimage where miracles were said to have occurred. One mother bought her ill son, Charles Borromeo, for a cure to his illness and he was cured. Borromeo removed a small bone from Porro’s foot – he was incorrupt – and St Charles always carried it as a reminder of that miracle.
John Angelo was born in 1451 in the Duchy of Milan of Protasio Porro and Franceschina de Guanzate, good Christians from Barlassina near Seveso. In 1468 he received the habit of the Servants and lived for five years in the Priory of Saint Mary in Milan. According to some of the Order’ s writers, he then retired to the solitude of Cavacurta on the right bank of the River Adda to lead a life of contemplation and penance.
In 1474 John Angelo was sent to the Annunziata in Florence where he was noted for his regular observance. During this period he completed his studies and was Ordained to the Priesthood. He continued to consider the possibility of a hermit’s life and eventually went to Monte Senario which had been restored at the beginning of the fifteenth century by a group of friars who had desired the solitary life.
Blessed John Angelo’s stay on Monte Senario was of such particular importance in his life and spiritual development, he even came to be known as “John of the Mountain.” Whenever he had to leave Senario for reasons of health or obedience he would always return to its solitude with great personal joy.
In 1484 Antonio Alabanti, the Prior of the Annunziata, called John Angelo to Florence to instruct the novices for whom he seems to have written some “useful instructions.” Three years later, Alabanti, who was now Prior General, named John Angelo Rector of the hermitage of Monte Senario, a position which he filled with responsibility, competence and holy wisdom. The Prior General greatly esteemed his prudence and religious spirit and often sought his help in directing the hermitage in Chianti as well.
After Alabanti’s death, John Angelo returned to Milan about 1495 and it seems that he was elected Prior. Even in the centre of that famous city, he managed to preserve something of the solitary life which he so loved. His biographer Fra Filippo Ferrari tells us that “he lived in a room a little removed from the others.”
It was during this period that another important aspect of John Angelo’s apostolate developed – the education of children in Christian doctrine. Ippolito Porro writes that “even though he was Prior, every feast day he would stand at the church doors or wander through the streets attracting the children to himself that he might teach them Christian doctrine.”
Corroboration for this comes from the marble bas-relief of the mid-sixteenth century which shows the Blessed in church teaching children.
John Angelo died on 23 October 1505, in the priory of Milan and was mourned by both friars and laity.
In Blessed John Angelo we see the image and model of a life centred on contemplation and the knowledge of God, which has found a way to express itself throughout the Order’s history. John Angelo had a special love for prayer and silence. He sought an ever deepening intimacy with God in prayer and was, therefore, drawn to solitude and away from associations which “wasted time.”
Not infrequently, though, his fraternal charity won out over his love for solitude. He loved the Order and was always concerned for it’s individual members. Though somewhat frail physically, he gained control over his body through constant renunciation. Poverty and simplicity of life were especially important for him. He had great reverence for Our Lady and composed a prayer in her honour, which he recited daily.
On 15 July 1737 Pope Clement XII proc1aimed John Angelo blessed. His incorrupt body is venerated in Milan in the Church of San Carlo, formerly known as the Church of Saint Mary of the Servants. Following a very old custom, sick children are still brought to his tomb to ask his intercession for their cure.
Prayer O Lord, John Angelo was faithful in his religious life and zealous in teaching Christian doctrine. May he pray for us, that we may always be close to You, observe the counsels of the gospel and be fervent in apostolic work. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen
St Benedict of Sebaste St Clether St Domitius St Elfleda St Ethelfleda St Gratien of Amiens St Henry of Cologne St Ignatius of Constantinople Blessed John Angelo Porro OSM (1451-1505) Bl John Buoni St John of Syracuse St Oda of Aquitaine St Phaolô Tong Viet Buong St Romanus of Rouen Bl Severinus Boethius St Severinus of Cologne Syra of Faremoutiers St Theodoret of Antioch Bl Thomas Thwing St Verus of Salerno — Martyrs of Cadiz – 2 saints Germanus Servandus Martyrs of Hadrianopolis – 2 saints Dorotheus Severus Martyrs of Nicaea – 3 saints Euerotas Socrates Theodota
Martyrs of Valenciennes – 6 beati: A group of Urusuline and Briggittine nuns murdered together in the anti-Christian excesses of the French Revolution. They were guillotined on 23 October 1794 in Valenciennes, Nord, France and Beatified on 13 June 1920 by Pope Benedict XV. • Anne-Joseph Leroux • Clotilde-Joseph Paillot • Jeanne-Louise Barré • Marie-Augustine Erraux • Marie-Liévine Lacroix • Marie-Marguerite-Joseph Leroux
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War including Martyrs of Manzanares (7 beati): • Agapit Gorgues Manresa • Agustín Nogal Tobar • Andrés Navarro Sierra • César Elexgaray Otazua • Cristóbal González Carcedo • Dorinda Sotelo Rodríguez • Eduardo Valverde Rodríguez • Felipe Basauri Altube • José María Fernández Sánchez • Juan Nuñez Orcajo • Leonardo Olivera Buera • Manuel Navarro Martínez • Roque Guillén Garcés • Toribia Marticorena Sola