Thought for the Day – 9 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
THE SALVATION OF SOULS
“If you still belong to the category of those who desire to be good and virtuous, remember that your obligations do not stop at this. You are obliged to work as hard as possible, for the return of sinners to the fold and for the reawakening of the faith of the indifferent.
A man who really loves God, cannot remain inactive when he witnesses the desertion of so many of his fellow-men, the corruption of public and private morals and the continuous insults offered to the Creator of the human race. ANYONE WHO REMAINS INACTIVE BECOMES AN ACCOMPLISH!
Everyone is obliged to do his best to prevent the spread of such errors and evils. Do NOT make the excuse that there is very little which you can do. Although the resources of those who are still faithful, may be individually insignificant, they become, when combined, an irresistible force.
Remember that you have three invincible weapons – prayer, mortification and sacrifice. These are the weapons which can and should be employed in order to convert the world and to establuish the Kingdom of God.”
“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart and you will find rest for yourselves…” … Matthew 11:29
REFLECTION – “Dearest sister in Jesus. I, Catherine, servant of the servants of Jesus, write to you in His Precious Blood, wishing only that you feed yourself with God’s love and nourish yourself with it, as at a mother’s breast. Nobody, in fact, can live without this milk! Who possesses God’s love, finds so much joy that every bitterness transforms itself into sweetness and that every great weight becomes light. One must not be astonished because living in charity you live in God – “God is love and he who abides in love, abides in God and God abides in him”(1 John 4:16) Thus, living in God, you can have no bitterness because God is delight, gentleness and never-ending joy! This is why God’s friends are always happy! Even if we are sick, poor, grieved, troubled, persecuted, we are always joyful. … We do not seek joy elsewhere than in Jesus and we avoid any glory which is not that of the Cross. Embrace, then, Jesus crucified, raising to Him the eyes of your desire! Consider His burning love for you, which made Jesus pour out His blood from every part of His body! Embrace Jesus crucified, loving and beloved and in Him you will find true life because He is God made man. Let your heart and your soul burn with the fire of love drawn from Jesus on the Cross! You must, then, become love, looking at God’s love who loved you so much not because He had any obligation towards you but out of pure gift, urged only by His ineffable love. You will have no other desire than to follow Jesus! As if you were drunken with Love, it will no longer matter whether you are alone or in company – do not think about many things but only about finding Jesus and following Him! Run, Bartolomea, do not stay asleep, because time flies and does not wait one moment! Dwell in God’s sweet love. Sweet Jesus, Jesus love.” … St Catherine of Sienna (1347-1380) – Doctor of the Church – From the “Letters” (letter no. 165 to Bartolomea, wife of Salviato of Lucca).
Prayer – Almighty and merciful God, let neither our daily work nor the cares of this life, prevent us from hastening to meet Your Son. Lord, make straight the winding ways within us. Draw us to repent! Enlighten us with Your wisdom and lead us into His company, that we may love Him and do homage to Him. Amen
Our Morning Offering – 9 December – Wednesday of the Second week of Advent
Let Your goodness, Lord, Appear to Us An Advent Prayer By St Bernard (1090-1153)
Let Your goodness, Lord, appear to us, that we, made in Your image, conform ourselves to it. In our own strength we cannot imitate Your majesty, power and wonder, nor is it fitting for us to try. But Your mercy reaches from the heavens through the clouds to the earth below. You have come to us as a small child but You have brought us the greatest of all gifts, the gift of eternal love. Caress us with Your tiny hands, embrace us with Your tiny arms and pierce our hearts with Your soft, sweet cries. Amen
Saint of the Day – 9 December – Saint Leocadia of Toledo (Died c 304) Virgin Martyr – Patronage – Toledo and its Archdiocese.
St Leocadia was a native of Toledo and was apprehended by an order of Dacian, the cruel governor under Diocletian in 304. Hearing of the Martyrdom of St Eulalia, she prayed that God would not prolong her exile but unite her speedily with her beloved Lord in His glory. By order of the governor, Decianus, described in the martyrology as the most furious persecutor of the Christians in Spain, she was seized and cruelly tortured in order to make her apostatise but she remained steadfast. She sent back to prison, where she died from the effects of the torture. Thus her prayer was answered and she went happily to meet her beloved Lord.
A Cathedral was built over her grave and later three famous churches in Toledo also bear her name. She is honoured as the principal Patroness of that city. In the Cathedral of Saint Leocadia most of the councils of Toledo were held.
She was buried in the local cemetery, near the Tagus, where soon a cult sprung up around her grave. It is thought that the Cathedral was built in the fourth century and later improved upon in 618 by St Sisebut. The seventh century saw a flourishing of her cult.
During the reign of Alfonso X of Castile, the prison where she is said to have been incarcerated still carried proof of her habitation. A contemporary witness records: “There still existed and we touched it, a sign of the cross impressed in the stone because the martyr constantly touched the walls with her fingers that sign of our redemption.”
During the ninth century, her relics were moved during the persecutions of the Moors. They were moved to Oviedo where St Alfonso the Chaste erected a Basilica there in her honour. In the eleventh century, a Count of Hainault arrived in Spain as a pilgrim to Compostela. He fought alongside Alfonso VI of Castile in campaigns of the Reconquista and received, in recompense, the relics of Saint Leocadia and Saint Sulpicius. Thus, her relics were taken out of Spain.
Her relics were known to have been located at the Benedictine Abbey of Saint-Ghislain, in present-day Belgium and were venerated there by Philip the Handsome and Joanna of Castile, who recovered for Toledo a tibia of the saint. The Abbey of Saint-Ghislain suffered depredations in the wars of the 16th century. Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, 3rd Duke of Alba attempted unsuccessfully to rescue the rest of her relics. However, a Jesuit named Miguel Hernández, a native of Toledo Province, found her relics in 1583. After many travels, he brought them to Rome in 1586. They were brought to Valencia by sea and then finally brought to Toledo from Cuenca. Philip II of Spain presided over a solemn ceremony commemorating the final translation of her relics to Toledo, in April 1587.
The small town of Leocadia, near Samaraes, between Braga and Guimarães in Northern Portugal, is named after her.
St Adam Scotus Bl Agustín García Calvo * Bl Antonio Martín Hernández * St Auditor of Saint-Nectaire St Balda of Jouarre St Bernhard Mariea Silvestrelli St Budoc of Brittany Bl Carmen Rodríguez Banazal * St Caesar of Korone St Cephas Bl Clara Isabella Fornari St Cyprian of Perigueux Bl Dolores Broseta Bonet * Bl Estefanía Irisarri Irigaray * St Ethelgiva of Shaftesbury St Gorgonia Bl Isidora Izquierdo García * Bl José Ferrer Esteve * Bl José Giménez López * Bl Josefa Laborra Goyeneche * Bl Josep Lluís Carrera Comas * St Julian of Apamea Bl Julián Rodríguez Sánchez * St Leocadia of Toledo (Died c 304) Virgin Martyr Blessed Liborius Wagner (1593-1631) Priest and Martyr His Life and Death: https://anastpaul.com/2019/12/09/saint-of-the-day-9-december-blessed-liborius-wagner-1593-1631-priest-and-martyr/ Bl María Pilar Nalda Franco * St Michaela Andrusikiewicz St Nectarius of Auvergne
St Proculus of Verona Bl Recaredo de Los Ríos Fabregat * St Syrus of Pavia St Valeria of Limoges St Wulfric of Holme
Blessed Mercedarian Fathers – (10 beati): The memorial of ten Mercedarian friars who were especially celebrated for their holiness. • Arnaldo de Querol • Berengario Pic • Bernardo de Collotorto • Domenico de Ripparia • Giovanni de Mora • Guglielmo Pagesi • Lorenzo da Lorca • Pietro Serra • Raimondo Binezes • Sancio de Vaillo
Martyred Salesians of Valencia – (5 beati) Martyrs of North Africa – (4 saints): Twenty-four Christians murdered together in North Africa for their faith. The only details to survive are four of their names – Bassian, Peter, Primitivus and Successus.
Martyrs of Paterna – (7 beati) Martyrs of Samosata – (7 saints): Seven martyrs crucified in 297 in Samosata (an area of modern Turkey) for refusing to perform a pagan rite in celebration of the victory of Emperor Maximian over the Persians. They are – Abibus, Hipparchus, James, Lollian, Paragnus, Philotheus and Romanus. They were crucified in 297 in Samosata (an area in modern Turkey).
Martyrs of the Spanish Civil War – (13 beati): • Blessed Agustín García Calvo • Blessed Antonio Martín Hernández • Blessed Carmen Rodríguez Banazal • Blessed Dolores Broseta Bonet • Blessed Estefanía Irisarri Irigaray • Blessed Isidora Izquierdo García • Blessed José Ferrer Esteve • Blessed José Giménez López • Blessed Josefa Laborra Goyeneche • Blessed Josep Lluís Carrera Comas • Blessed Julián Rodríguez Sánchez • Blessed María Pilar Nalda Franco • Blessed Recaredo de Los Ríos Fabregat