My Wishes to You All for a Blessed and Grace-filled 2021
Do not let love and fidelity forsake you, bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then will you win favour and esteem before God and human beings. Trust in the LORD with all your heart, on your own intelligence do not rely. In all your ways be mindful of him, and he will make straight your paths.
“We implore You, O All-Holy, Long-Suffering Life and Restoration, Source of goodness, look down from heaven and visit all those who ever trust in You; rescue our life, Lord, from all constraint and affliction, and, in the faith of truth, guide us all. At the prayers of the Immaculate Mother of God and Virgin, Save your world and those in the world and spare us all, You who, for us, became man without change, only Lover of mankind.”
Catholic Devotions JANUARY is the Month of THE MOST HOLY NAME OF JESUS
Given the widespread misuse of the names of God and Jesus today in ordinary life, as well as on television, in films and in other forms of entertainment, it is especially important to do all we can to restore respect for the name of God. Bowing our head when we pronounce or hear the name of Jesus is a good way to do this. Also important is to make an internal act of reparation whenever we hear the name of God or Jesus blasphemed. It should hurt us that the object of our love is mistreated in this way.
By way of concretising respect for the name of Jesus in a formal way, the Second Council of Lyons in 1274 decreed that “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow; whenever that glorious name is recalled, especially during the sacred mysteries of the Mass, everyone should bow the knees of his heart, which he can do even by a bow of his head.”
It may very well be that the custom of bowing the head at the name of Jesus has passed out of general use, as have other laudable customs, in recent times but, that does not prevent us personally, from continuing to live it and passing on to our children this ancient custom.
At the mention of the Most Holy Name, BOW YOUR HEAD and in private prayer, make an ACT of REPARATION, at the misuse of the MOST HOLY NAME of JESUS.
Thought for the Day – 1 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Mary, Mother of God
“The near-infinite greatness of Mary, flows from the fact, that she is the Mother of God. The Eternal Word of the Father, consubstantial with Him in nature and equal to Him in majesty, willed to become man in order to set us free from the slavery of sin and to regain Heaven for us. He became man in the chaste womb of the Virgin Mary. He took a human body and soul and was born of her, as the God-Man. For this reason, there is attributed to His Divine Person, the title of Son of Mary and to Mary, the title of Mother of God.
There is a relationship between Mary and each of the three Divine Persons, for she is the daughter of God the Father, the spouse of the Holy Spirit by whose power the Word became incarnate in her and the mother of the Word made Man. She is, moreover, in the words of Dante, the “termine fisso di eterno consiglio” (Paradiso 33:1-3). In other words, she is the centre of the eternal plan which God established for the redemption of the human race. It was God’s eternal design to reunite creation to the Uncreated, by means of Mary. She became the mother of the Eternal Word, in whom the divine and human natures were indissolubly united. He redeemed us by His infinite merits but, in this work of redemption, He employed the co-operation of His holy Mother. All the graces, privileges and virtues of Mary, flow from this great mystery of her divine Motherhood. As befitted the future Mother of God, she was conceived free from the stain of original sin and full of grace. Her mortal life was a continuous ascent towards the highest peak of sanctity. When she died, she was assumed body and soul into Heaven, where she was crowned in glory, as Queen of Angels and Queen of Saints. When we consider the sublime nobility of Our Lady, we should be moved to love and venerate her. This love and veneration does not subtract in the slightest from God’s glory, because, she is the Mother of God. In fact, it is a great advantage to us, to imitate her and to call on her to intercede for us.”
Quote/s of the Day – 1 January – The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God and the Octave Day of the Nativity of the Lord
“If anyone does not believe that Holy Mary is the Mother of God, such a one is a stranger to the Godhead.”
St Gregory of Nazianzen (330-390) Father & Doctor of the Church
“That anyone could doubt, the right of the holy Virgin to be called the Mother of God, fills me with astonishment. Surely, she must be the Mother of God, if our Lord Jesus Christ is God and she gave birth to Him!”
St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Father and Doctor
“Having confidence in you, O Mother of God, I shall be saved. Being under you protection, I shall fear nothing. With your help, I shall give battle to my enemies and put them to flight, for devotion to you, is an arm of Salvation.”
St John Damascene (676-749) Father and Doctor of the Church
“What shall we say, brethren? Is she not our mother? Certainly, brethren, she is in truth our mother. Through her we are born, not to the world but to God.”
But Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart. … Luke 2:19
REFLECTION – “Is not Mary the Mother of Christ? Then she is our Mother also. And we must in truth hold that Christ, the Word made Flesh, is also the Saviour of mankind. He had a physical body like that of any other man and again, as Saviour of the human family, He had a spiritual and mystical body, the society, namely, of those who believe in Christ. “We are many, but one sole body in Christ” (Rom. xii., 5). Now the Blessed Virgin did not conceive the Eternal Son of God, merely in order, that He might be made man taking His human nature from her but, also in order, that by means of the nature assumed from her, He might be the Redeemer of men. For which reason, the Angel said to the Shepherds: “To-day there is born to you a Saviour who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11). Wherefore, in the same holy bosom of His most chaste Mother, Christ took to Himself flesh and united to Himself, the spiritual body formed by those who were to believe in Him. Hence Mary, carrying the Saviour within her, may be said to have also carried, all those whose life was contained in the life of the Saviour. Therefore, all we who are united to Christ and, as the Apostle says, are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones (Eph 5:30), have issued from the womb of Mary, like a body united to it’s head. Hence, though in a spiritual and mystical fashion, we are all children of Mary and she is Mother of us all. … If then, the most Blessed Virgin is the Mother at once of God and men, who can doubt that she will work with all diligence to procure that Christ, Head of the Body of the Church (Col 1:18), may transfuse His gifts into us, His members and above all, that of knowing Him and living through Him (I John 4:9)?” – Saint Pius X (1835-1914) – Pope from 1903 to 1914 – Encyclical “Ad diem illum laetissimum” §10-11
PRAYER – God, our Father, since You gave mankind a Saviour through the blessed Mary, virgin and mother and a heavenly mother through our Saviour, grant that we may feel the power of her intercession, when she pleads for us with Jesus Christ, Your Son, the author of life, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 1 January – The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God and the Octave Day of the Nativity of the Lord
HailO Mary, Mother of God By St Cyril of Alexander (376-444) Doctor of the Incarnation Known as ‘The Pillar of Faith”
Hail, O Mary, Mother of God, Virgin and Mother! Morning Star, perfect vessel. Hail, O Mary, Mother of God, Holy Temple in which god Himself was conceived. Hail, O Mary, Mother of God, Chaste and pure dove. Hail, O Mary, Mother of God, Who enclosed the One who cannot be encompassed in your sacred womb. Hail, O Mary, Mother of God, From you flowed the true light, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Hail, O Mary, Mother of God, Through you the Conqueror and triumphant Vanquisher of hell came to us. Hail, O Mary, Mother of God, Through you, the glory of the Resurrection blossoms. Hail, O Mary, Mother of God, You have saved every faithful Christian. Hail, O Mary, Mother of God, Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen
Saint of the Day – 1 January – Saint Odilo of Cluny OSB (962-1049) Priest, Monk, 5th Abbot of Cluny, Reformer, known as the “Archangel of the Monks,” Apostle of the poor and needy, Marian devotee and promoter of prayer for the Souls in Purgatory.St Odilo was the fifth Benedictine Abbot of Cluny, holding the post for around 54 years. During his tenure Cluny became the most important Monastery in western Europe. Odilo actively worked to reform the monastic practices not only at Cluny but at other Benedictine houses. He also promoted the Truce of God whereby military hostilities were temporarily suspended at certain times for ostensibly religious reasons. Odilo encouraged the formal practice of personal Consecration to Mary. He established All Souls’ Day (on 2 November) in Cluny and its Monasteries as the annual commemoration to pray for all the faithful departed. The practice was soon adopted throughout the whole Western Church. He was born in 962 at Auvergne, France and died on 1 January 1049 at Souvigny, France of natural causes. Additional memorials – 29 April as one of the Seven Abbots of Cluny, 19 January in Cluny (formerly 2 January), 6 February in Switzerland. Patronages – against jaundice, the souls in Purgatory.
Odilo was descended from the nobility of Auvergne. He early became a cleric in the seminary of St Julien in Brioude. In 991 he entered Cluny and before the end of his year of probation was made coadjutor to Abbot Mayeul and shortly before the latter’s death (994) was made Abbot and received Holy orders.
The rapid development of the Monastery under him was due chiefly to his gentleness and charity, his activity and talent for organising. He was a man of prayer and penance, zealous for the observance of the Divine Office and the monastic spirit. He encouraged learning in his monasteries and had the monk, Radolphus Glaber, write a history of the time. He erected a magnificent Monastery building and furthered the reform of the Benedictine Monasteries. Under Alphonse VI it spread into Spain. The rule of St Benedict was substituted in Cluny for the domestic rule of Isidore. By bringing the reformed or newly founded Monasteries of Spain into permanent dependence on the mother-house, Odilo prepared the way for the union of Monasteries, which Hugo established for maintaining order and discipline. The number of Monasteries increased from thirty-seven to sixty-five, of which five were newly established and twenty-three had followed the reform movement.
On account of his services in the reform, Odilo was called by the Blessed Bishop Fulbert of Chartres, the “Archangel of the Monks” and through his relations with the Popes, rulers, and prominent Bishops of the time, Cluny monasticism was promoted. He journeyed nine times to Italy and took part in several synods there. Popes John XIX and Benedict IX both offered him the Archbishopric of Lyons but he declined.
From 998 he gained influence with the Emperor Otto III. He was on terms of intimacy with Henry II when the latter, on political grounds, sought to impair the spiritual independence of the German Monasteries. For Germany the Cluny policy had no permanent success, as the Monks there were more inclined to individualism. Between 1027 and 1046 the relations between the Cluniac Monks and the Rmperor remained unchanged. In 1046 Odilo was present at the coronation of Henry III in Rome. Robert II of France allied himself with the Reform party.
The conclusion of the Peace of God (Treuga Dei), for which Odilo had worked from 1041, was of great economic importance. During the great famines of that time (particularly 1028-33), he also exercised his active charity and saved thousands from death.
He established All Souls Day (2 November) in Cluny and its Monasteries, probably not in 998 but after 1030 and it was soon adopted in the whole Church. Of his writings we have but a few short and unimportant ones – a life of the holy Empress St Adelaide, to whom he was closely related; a short biography of his predecessor Mayeul; sermons on feasts of the ecclesiastical year; some hymns and prayers and a few letters from his extensive correspondence.
Odilo and his confreres interested themselves in the Church reform which began about that time. They followed no definite ecclesiastico-political programm, but directed their attacks principally against individual offences such as simony, marriage of the clergy and the uncanonical marriage of the laity. The Holy See could depend, above all, on the religious of Cluny, when it sought to raise itself from its humiliating position and undertook the reform of the Church.
He died while on a visitation to the Monastery of Souvigny where he was buried and soon venerated as a saint.
In 1063 St Peter Damien undertook the process of his Canonisation, and wrote a short life, with the assistance of an abstract from the work of Jotsald, one of Odilo’s monks who accompanied him on his travels. In 1793 the relics were burned by the revolutionaries “on the altar of the fatherland.”
Titular Feast of the Society of Jesus – But now celebrated on 3 January, the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus
Bl Adalbero of Liege St Baglan of Wales St Basil of Aix Bl Bonannus of Roio St Brogan St Buonfiglio Monaldi Bl Catherine de Solaguti St Clarus of Vallis Regia St Clarus of Vienne St Colman mac Rónán St Colman Muillin of Derrykeighan St Concordius of Arles St Connat St Cuan St Demet of Plozévet St Elvan St Eugendus of Condat St Euphrosyne of Alexandria St Fanchea of Rossory St Felix of Bourges St Frodobert of Troyes St Fulgentius of Ruspe (c 462 – 533) About St Fulgentius! https://anastpaul.com/2020/01/01/saint-of-the-day-1-january-saint-fulgentius-of-ruspe-c-462-533-the-pocket-augustine/ St Gisela of Rosstreppe St Gregory Nazianzen the Elder Bl Hugolinus of Gualdo Cattaneo Bl Jean-Baptiste Lego Bl Jean of Saint-Just-en-Chaussée St Joseph Mary Tomasi St Justin of Chieti Bl Lojze Grozde St Maelrhys St Magnus the Martyr Bl Marian Konopinski St Mydwyn St Odilo of Cluny OSB (962-1049) Priest, Monk, 5th Abbot of Cluny St Odilo of Stavelot St Peter of Atroa St Peter of Temissis Bl René Lego St Sciath of Ardskeagh St Severino Gallo St Telemachus St Thaumastus of Mainz St Theodotus St Tyfrydog Bl Valentin Paquay St Vincent Strambi St William of Dijon St Zedislava Berka St Zygmunt Gorazdowski — Breton Missionaries to Britain Martyred Soldiers of Rome: Thirty soldiers martyred in Rome as a group during the persecutions of Diocletian. We don’t even known their names. They were martyred c 304 at Rome, Italy.
Martyrs of Africa – 8 saints: Eight Christians martyred together in Africa, date unknown. The only details we have are four of their names – Argyrus, Felix, Narcissus and Victor.
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War: • Blessed Andrés Gómez Sáez