Thought for the Day – 20 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Death is approaching. How many years have we left? How many months? How many hours? We do not know. Perhaps this could be the last day or the last hour of our lives and, if that were true, in what state would we appear before the majesty of God? How terrible if we were in mortal sin – we would be damned for all eternity!
But, even if we find ourselves in the state of grace, what merits have we to present to the eternal Judge? What sacrifices have we made to prove our love for Him? What mortifications and penances have we voluntarily undertake to purify ourselves of our sins? What good works have we done, what alms have we given, what prayers have we said? We may have to admit that we have wasted most of the time which God has given us in useless or even sinful occupations. Let us treasure, at least, the years, days, or hours which God still wills to grant us, for our full conversion and for our spiritual perfection.”
Quote/s of the Day – 21 January – Thursday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time, Readings: Hebrews 7:25 – 8:6, Psalms 40:7-8,8-9, 10, 17, Mark 3:7-12
“For he had healed many, so that all who had diseases pressed around him to touch him.”
“Come to me, all you who labour and are burdened and I will give you rest. ”
“I speak out in order to lead Him into your hearts but He does not choose to come where I lead Him, unless you prepare the way for Him.”
St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of the Church
“For this all-powerful Physician, nothing is incurable. He heals without charge! With one word, He restores to health! I would have despaired of my wound were it not, that I placed my trust in the Almighty.”
St Gregory the Great (540-604) Pope, Father, Doctor of the Church
“My children, eternal life is being offered to us, the kingdom of heaven is made ready and Christ’s inheritance awaits us … So let us run from now on with increased energy and above all you, lazy, recalcitrant, dull of heart, friends of murmuring who, unless you improve, are like the cursed fig tree. … Let us seek out the fight, bravely pour with our sweat, adorn ourselves with crowns, gain praises and gather up, like a treasure, “what eye has not seen and ear has not heard and what has not entered the human heart” (1 Cor 2:9).
St Theodore the Studite (759-826)
“I have come, to warn the faithful, to amend their lives and ask pardon for their sins. They must not continue to offend Our Lord, Who is already too much offended.”
One Minute Reflection – 23 January – Thursday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time, Readings: Hebrews 7:25 – 8:6, Psalms 40:7-8,8-9, 10, 17, Mark 3:7-12 and the Memorial of Saint Agnes (c 291- c 304) Virgin and Martyr and Saint Meinrad of Einsiedeln OSB (c 797–861) Martyr, Priest, Monk, Hermit
“A great crowd followed, from Galilee and Judea and Jerusalem and Idumea and from beyond the Jordan and from around Tyre and Sidon. When the great crowd heard all that he was doing, they came to him.” – Mark 3:7-8
REFLECTION – “God did not create man to be lost but so that he might live eternally; this intention remains unchanging … For He “wills everyone to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth,” (1 Tm 2:4). It is the will of your Father in heaven, says Jesus, “that not one of these little ones be lost,” (Mt 18:14). It is also written elsewhere: “Neither will God have a soul to perish but brought back” meaning, that he that is cast off should not altogether perish, ( 2 Sm 14:14 Vulg [Douai]; cf. 2 Pt 3:9). God is true; He does not lie when He promises on oath: “As I live! I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked man but rather in the wicked man’s conversion, that he may live,” (Ez 33:11).
Can we then think, without gross sacrilege, that He might not want the salvation of all in general but only of a few? Anyone who is lost, is lost contrary to God’s will. He cries out to him every day: “Turn, turn from your evil ways! Why should you die, O house of Israel?” (Ex 33:11). And again, He protests: “Why do these people rebel with obstinate insistence? They set their faces harder than stone and refuse to return,” (Jr 8:5; 5:3).The grace of Christ is, therefore, always available to us. Since He desires that all men should be saved, He calls to all without exception: “Come to me, all you who labour and are burdened and I will give you rest,” (Mt 11:28). – St John Cassian (c 360-435) Father, Monk, Founder of Monasteries, Disciple of St John Chrysostom – Conference 13
PRAYER – Lord God, true light and creator of light, grant us the grace to see clearly by the light who is Light, Your only Son. Lead us in His path and send us Your Spirit. Grant us the strength to grow in holiness so that our struggle against the powers of darkness may we a victory over temptation. May the intercession of the extraordinary fortitude and love of Your holy Martyrs St Agnes and Meinrad, help us and protect us. We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for all eternity, amen.
O Most Compassionate Jesus! By Bl Pope Pius IX(1792-1878) Indulgence of 100 days, once a day 6 October 1870
O Most compassionate Jesus! Thou alone art our salvation, our life and our resurrection. We implore Thee, therefore, do not forsake us in our needs and afflictions but by the agony of Thy Most Sacred Heart and by the sorrows of Thy Immaculate Mother, succour Thy servants, whom Thou hast redeemed by Thy most Precious Blood. Amen
Saint of the Day – 21 January – Saint Meinrad of Einsiedeln OSB (c 797–861) Martyr, Benedictine Priest and Monk, Hermit, known as “Martyr of Hospitality” – born at Solgen, Swabia (Sülichgau near Wurtemberg, Germay) and died by being beaten to death with clubs by robbers, on 21 January 861 at Einsiedeln, Switzerland. Patronage – Hospitality, Einsiedeln Monastery in the United States.
Meinrad received his education and entered the Order of St Benedict at Reichenau Abbey in his native Germany. After Ordination to the Priesthood around the year 824, he taught at Reichenau and then served at the Benedictine Priory at Benken in Switzerland.
Around the year 835, seeking greater solitude, he was allowed to establish a Hermitage and Chapel on Mount Etzel, the present site of Einsiedeln Abbey. He had with him a small miraculous statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary, given to him by Hildegard, Abbess of Zurich, which is now known as Our Lady of Einsiedeln.
His life of simple austerity and his reputation for holiness soon drew pilgrims to his remote hut and they brought him gifts and alms which Meinrad distributed to the poor and needy. He always welcomed all visitors with Christian hospitality, even the two robbers who finally took his life after 26 years in that lonely place. In 835 he retreated to a Hermitage in the forest on the site of today’s Monastery in Einsiedeln. Inspired by the Desert Fathers, Meinrad practiced a strict asceticism. He was killed in 861 by two robbers who wanted the treasures which pilgrims left at the shrine. Meinrad is known as the Martyr of Hospitality.
When his brother Monks found his body, they buried him at the at Reichenau Abbey on Reichenau Island.
Over the next eighty years, the Hermitage was occupied by a succession of hermits. One of them, named Eberhard, previously Provost of Strasburg, erected a Monastery, Einsiedeln Abbey and became its first Abbot.
In 1039, the year of Meinrad’s Canonisation as a Saint, his remains were brought back to Einsiedeln. During the French Revolution, Meinrad’s relics were hidden at Tyrol, Austria, by Abbot Conrad Tanner and his reliquary is now enshrined in the Grace Chapel of the Abbey Church at Einsiedeln.
During the Middle Ages, Einsiedeln became a popular place of pilgrimage for people from southern Germany, Switzerland and the Alsace. Meinrad’s cell became the Shrine of the Black Madonna of Einsiedel. Over the years dust and the smoke of candles, oil lamps and incense darkened the image. In 1803 the hands and face were painted black.
The Chapel St Meinrad at the summit of the Etzel Pass is first mentioned in the 13th century. The Chapel and a nearby inn are located on the pilgrimage route of Camino de Santiago.
Our Lady of Altagracia – 21 January – Also known as: Our Lady of High Grace (Altagracia) – Our Lady of Grace – Protector and Queen of the hearts of the Dominicans – Tatica from Higuey – Virgen de la Altagracia – Virgin of Altagracia. Today is Día de la Altagracia, or Altagracia Day! A portrait of the Virgin Mary in a Nativity scene. It is 13 inches (33 centimeters) wide by 18 inches (45 centimeters) high and is painted on cloth. It is a primitive work of the Spanish school, painted c 1500. The Spanish brothers Alfonso and Antonio Trejo, two of the first European settlers on Santo Domingo, brought the portrait to the island some time prior to 1502 and eventually donated it to the parish church at Higuey. It’s first shrine was finished in 1572 and in 1971 it was moved to its present Basilica. The image was crowned on 15 August 1922 during the pontificate of Pius XI. Due to its age, centuries of handling by the faithful and exposure to candle smoke, it was in sad shape, and was restored in 1978. On 25 January 1979 St Pope John Paul II crowned the image with a gold and silver tiara, his gift to the Virgin. It’s frame is made of gold, enamel and precious stones and was constructed by an unknown 18th century artisan. The Dominicans see the image as exemplifying Our Lady watching over the island and the growth of Christianity there. The feast day is marked by services, all-night vigils, singing, dancing and festivals in many of the towns. Legend says that the pious daughter of a rich merchant asked her father to bring her a portrait of Our Lady of Altagracia from Santo Domingo but no-one had heard of that title. The merchant, staying overnight at a friend’s house in Higuey, described his problem as they sat outdoors after dinner. An old man with a long beard, who just happened to be passing by, pulled a rolled up painting from his cloak, gave it to the merchant and said, “This is what you are looking for.” It was the Virgin of Altagracia. They gave the old man a place to stay for the night but by dawn he was gone, not to be seen again. The merchant placed the image on their mantle but it repeatedly disappeared only to be found outside and the family finally returned it to the church.
St Nicholas Woodfen St Patroclus of Troyes St Publius of Malta Bl Thomas Reynolds St Valerian of Trebizond St Vimin of Holywood St Zacharias the Angelic —
Blessed Martyrs of Laval – 19 beati: Fifteen men and four women who were martyred in Laval, France by anti-Catholic French Revolutionaries. • Blessed André Duliou • Blessed Augustin-Emmanuel Philippot • Blessed François Duchesne • Blessed François Migoret-Lamberdière • Blessed Françoise Mézière • Blessed Françoise Tréhet • Blessed Jacques André • Blessed Jacques Burin • Blessed Jean-Baptiste Triquerie • Blessed Jean-Marie Gallot • Blessed Jeanne Veron • Blessed John Baptist Turpin du Cormier • Blessed Joseph Pellé • Blessed Julien Moulé • Blessed Julien-François Morin • Blessed Louis Gastineau • Blessed Marie Lhuilier • Blessed Pierre Thomas • Blessed René-Louis Ambroise The were born in French and they were martyred on several dates in 1794 in Laval, Mayenne, France. They were beatified on 19 June 1955 by Pope Pius XII at Rome, Italy.
Martyrs of Rome – 30 saints: Thirty Christian soldiers executed together in the persecutions of Diocletian. They were martyred in 304 in Rome, Italy.
Martyrs of Tarragona: Augurius, Eulogius, Fructuosus