Thought for the Day – 31 October – “Pray for Us … at the Hour of Our Death”

Thought for the Day – 31 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

“Month of the Holy Rosary”
“Pray for Us … at the Hour of Our Death”

“We have come to the end of this month, which we have dedicated to Mary and her blessed Rosary.
Let us remember, however, that apart from this month of October, we should dedicate our whole lives to her, up to final moment of death.
We are always in need of Mary’s patronage and intercession with God.
Let us always have recourse to her, therefore, especially in danger and in suffering but, most especially, at the decisive moment of death, for this is the moment on which eternity depends.
This day will arrive sooner or later but, it will certainly come, “at an hour that you do not expect” (Lk 12:40).

In the second part of the Hail Mary, the Church places on our lips, these words of supplication: “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death, Amen.”
How many times we have recited this prayer!
But do we ever think of death?
Let us remember that a mediation on death is the most valuable lesson in life.
One day, we shall find ourselves face-to-face with God, drawing our last breath on earth.
It may be on a sick bed, it may be in the middle of a street – we do not know.
It may be after a long illness at the end of which we are comforted by the Holy Sacraments and blessed by a priest, or it may be quite unexpected.
But, it is certain that death will come.
Let us aim, therefore, at being always prepared, so that it may not come when we have no good works to offer and when our hearts are full of ourselves and of worldly interests.
Like Mary, let us lead lives of holiness and we shall be sure to die holy deaths.
Let us beseech our heavenly Mother to be by our side at that final moment to sustain us in the conflict and to consign our souls to her divine Son, Jesus. Amen.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci


One Minute Reflection – 31 October – Humility is not just about self-mistrust but about the entrusting of ourselves to God.- Luke 14:11

One Minute Reflection – 31 October – The last day of the Month of the Holy Rosary – Saturday of the Thirtieth week in Ordinary Time, Readings: Philippians 1:18-26Psalms 42:23,5Luke 14:1,7-11

“For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled but the one who humbles himself will be exalted. ”- Luke 14:11

REFLECTION – “Humility is not just about self-mistrust but about the entrusting of ourselves to God. Distrusting ourselves and our own strength produces trust in God and from that trust, generosity of soul is born.

The most holy Virgin, Our Lady, gave us an outstanding example of this when she spoke these words: “Behold I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done to me according to your word” (Lk 1:38). When she said she was the handmaid of the Lord, she was performing the greatest act of humility it is possible to do and, all the more so, in that she was contradicting the praise given her by the angel – that she would be mother of God, that the child to be born from her womb would be called Son of the Most High, a greater dignity than any we might imagine – I say, she opposed her lowliness and unworthiness to all these praises and greatness, by saying that she was the handmaid of the Lord. Yet note how, no sooner had she rendered her duty to humility than she practised outstanding generosity by saying: “May it be to me according to your word.”
What she wanted to say was – It is true I am in no way capable of this grace if one is to consider what I am of myself but, insofar as what is good in me comes from God and what you say to me, is His own most holy will, I believe it may happen and will happen. And so, without the least hesitation, she said: “Let it be done to me according to your word.”St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor of the Church

PRAYER – Lord Jesus, help us to appreciate and live Your spiritual values and give them the first place in our hearts. Grant that we may always seek them first and remain forever united with You. Send Your Spirit with his gifts and blessings and may the Mother of all Virtue, assist us in our need. Help us to follow the path of humility the Blessed Virgin so splendidly taught us and may we always beseech Our Lady of the Holy Rosary for her intercession, that we may obtain from You, a place in Your Kingdom. Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, pray for us. We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God now and for all times, amen.


Our Morning Offering –31 October – Supplication to the Queen of the Holy Rosary

Our Morning Offering –31 October – The last day of the Month of the Holy Rosary – Saturday of the Thirtieth week in Ordinary Time

Excerpt from the
Petition to Our Lady of the Rosary of Pompeii
also known as
Supplication to the Queen of the Holy Rosary
By Blessed Bartholomew Longo (1841-1926)
Apostle of the Holy Rosary

O Blessed Rosary of Mary,
sweet Chain,
which binds us to God,
Bond of love,
which unites us to the Angels,
Tower of salvation
against the assaults of hell,
safe Port in our universal shipwreck,
we shall never abandon you.
You will be our comfort
in the hour of agony.
To you, the last kiss of our dying life.
And the last word from our lips
will be your sweet name,
O Queen of the Rosary of Pompeii,
O dearest Mother,
O Refuge of Sinners,
O Sovereign Consoler of the Afflicted.
Be Blessed everywhere,
today and always,
on earth and in Heaven.


Saint of the Day – 31 October – Blessed Thomas Bellacci TOSF (1370-1447)

Saint of the Day – 31 October – Blessed Thomas Bellacci TOSF (1370-1447) Lay Friar of the Third Order of St Francis, Penitent, Confessor, renowned Missionary Preacher, Papal legate – born as Tommaso in 1370 at Florence, Italy and died on 31 October 1447 in Rieti, Italy of natural causes. Patronages – butchers, penitents, missionaries. He is also known as Thomas of Florence, Tommaso Bellacci. Blessed Thomas is venerated by the Franciscans on 25 October.

Bellacci was a butcher and became a religious after turning his life around from one of sin to one of penance and servitude to God. He travelled across the Middle East and the Italian peninsula to preach the Gospel and against heresies. He drew many young men to follow in his path of penitence.

Tommaso Bellacci was born in Florence in 1370 in the neighbourhood of the Ponte alle Grazie. His parents came from Castello di Linari in Val d’Elsa. His father was a butcher. He got into a good deal of trouble on various occasions during his youth and led such a wild and dissolute life as an adolescent, that parents warned their sons to keep their distance from him. Persuaded by a friend to change his ways, he tried to enter some religious order but found strong resistance to being accepted. He became a butcher like his father.

Bellacci was accused of having committed a serious crime in 1400, which, in fact he had not committed and so, he wandered the streets of Florence in great turmoil and fear, until he met a Priest who listened to his story, took him in and helped clear his name. The incident shocked him so much – coupled with his great gratitude to the Priest – that he shed his life of sin and decided to live a life of total penance and service to God. He joined the Third Order of Saint Francis in Fiesole under the spiritual guidance of Friar Giovanni da Stronconio. He entered as a lay brother Friar and became noted for keeping vigils and fasting. He was known for his diet of water and vegetables.

So great was Thomas’ adherence to the literal interpretation and implementation of the Franciscan Rule, that he was made the Novice Master, despite the fact that he was not a Priest. In this role, he led by example. He became part of the Observant reform and in 1414 accompanied another Friar to Naples to introduce the Observant practice in the Franciscan houses there. He remained in Naples for six years, preaching and helping to spread the reform.

After his sojourn and work in Naples, Thomas founded Monasteries in Corscia. Pope Martin V called him to preach in the northern cities against the “Fraticelli” who were a group of heretical Franciscans and was also made Vicar General at the Pope’s behest. In 1438, he and Albert Berdini of Sarteano were sent to the Middle East to cities such as Damascus and Cairo in order to promote the reunification of the Eastern and Western Churches when he was over 70. Alberto had to return home due to his ill health which left Bellacci to continue the mission alone.

He attempted to travel to Ethiopia but the Turks captured him three times. The Florentine merchants helped to secure his release twice. The third time he was again captured and suffered enslavement and persecution for several years, by now, he was perhaps in his eighties. Pope Eugene IV helped secure his release. He returned home in 1444 and spent his time in a Convent in Abruzzo until he died in 1446.

Nevertheless, Thomas still wished to return to the Orient but he died in Rieti while on a visit to Rome to request the Pope’s permission to return there.

Thomas was Beatified by Pope Clement XIV in 1771.

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

All Hallow’s Eve and Memorials of the Saints – 31 October

All Hallow’s Eve: Eve of the Feast of All Hallows, that is, All Saints Day. Halloween is a day on which many quaint customs are revived. It is popular in the United States and Scotland and in the US has become the second largest secular holiday of the year.

Commemoration of All Holy Relics (Dominicans)

St Alphonsus Rodriguez SJ (1532-1617)

St Ampliatus
St Antoninus of Milan
St Apelles of Eraclea Sintica
St Arnulf of Novalesa
St Begu of Hackness
Bl Christopher of Romagna
Bl Dominic Collins
St Epimachus of Melusio
St Erth of Cornwall
St Foillan of Fosses
Bl Irene Stefani
St Jesús Miquel Girbau
Bl Leon Nowakowski
St Lucilla of Rome
Bl Maria de Requesens
Bl Modesta Moro Briz
St Narcissus
St Notburga of Cologne
St Quentin
Bl Pilar Isabel Sánchez Suárez
St Stachys of Constantinople
Blessed Thomas Bellacci TOSF (1370-1447) Lay Friar

St Urban
St Wolfgang of Regensburg (c 934 –994)
St Wolfgang’s life: