Thought for the Day – 4 February – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Confidence in the Providence of God
“An excessive pre-occupation with worldly affairs may often be responsible for our lack of perfect confidence in God. We worry about tomorrow and about our many material need. But Jesus has warned us about this. “Do not be anxious for your life,” He said, “what you shall eat, nor yet for your body, what you shall wear … Look at the birds of the air – they do not sow, or reap, or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of much more value than they? … Consider how the lilies of the field grow, they neither toil nor spon, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory, was arrayed like one of these. But, if God so clothes the grass of the field, which flourishes today but tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more you, O you of little faith! Therefore, do not be anxious … But seek first the kingdom of God and his justice and all these things shall be given ou besides. Therefore, do not be anxious about tomorrow; for tomorrow will have anxieties of its own. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Cf Mt 6:25-34).
“Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? And yet, not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s leave. But, as for you, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Therefore, do not be afraid!” (Cf Mt 10:29-31).”
Quote/s of the Day – 4 February – Thursday of the Fourth Week of Ordinary Time, Readings: Hebrews 12:18-19, 21-24, Psalms 48:2-3,3-4, 9, 10-11, Mark 6:7-13
And he called the twelve and began to send them out, two by two …
“Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to vthe whole creation.”
“Lord, if Your people still have need of my services, I will not avoid the toil. Your will be done. I have fought the good fight long enough. Yet, if You bid me to continue to hold the battle line, in defence of Your camp, I will never beg to be excused from failing strength. I will do the work You entrust to me. While You command, I will fight beneath Your banner. Amen”
St Martin de Tours (c 316-397)
“Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you.”
St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor of the Church
“What a tragedy, how many souls are being shut out of heaven and falling into hell, thanks to you!”
St Francis Xavier (1506-1552)
“We ought to instruct with meekness those whom heresy has made bitter and suspicious and has estranged from orthodox Catholics, … Thus, by whole-hearted charity and goodwill, we may win them over to us in the Lord.”
St Peter Canisius (1521-1397) Doctor of the Church
“Let us go in simplicity, where merciful Providence leads us, content to see the stone on which we should step, without wanting to discover, all at once and completely, the windings of the road.”
Blessed Frédéric Ozanam (1813–1853) “Servant to the Poor”
One Minute Reflection – 6 February – Thursday of the Fourth Week of Ordinary Time, Readings: Hebrews 12:18-19, 21-24, Psalms 48:2-3,3-4, 9, 10-11, Mark 6:7-13 and the Memorial of St Andrew Corsini O.Carm (1302-1373) Bishop
And they cast out many demons and anointed with oil, many who were sick and healed them. – Mark 6:13
REFLECTION – “Accordingly, in affirming that they are sent by Him, just as He was sent by the Father, Christ sums up in a few words the approach, they themselves should take to their apostolate. From what He said, they would gather, that it was their vocation to call sinners to repentance, to heal those who were sick, whether in body or spirit, to seek in all their dealing, never to do their own will but the will of Him who sent them and, as far as possible, to save the world by their teaching.” – St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Bishop, Father & Doctor of the Church
PRAYER – Human weakness finds its anchor in You, Lord and our faith is build on You as on a rock. Supported by the teachings, lives and prayers of our fathers, Your Apostles, may we always answer Your call and live in ever-closer union with You. And may St Andrew Corsini and all your Angels, Martyrs and Saints, pray for Holy Mother Church and for us all. Through Christ, our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spiirt, God forever and ever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 4 February – The Memorial of Blessed Rabanus Maurus (776-856)
Veni Creator Spiritus The Golden Sequence By Blessed Rabanus Maurus (776-856)
Come, Creator, Spirit, come from Your bright heavenly throne, come take possession of our souls and make them all Your own. You who are called the Paraclete, best gift of God above, the living spring, the vital fire, sweet christ’ning and true love. . . . O guide our minds with Your best light, with love our hearts inflame and with Your strength, which ne’er decays, confirm our mortal frame. Far from us drive our deadly foe, true peace unto us bring and through all perils lead us safe, beneath Your sacred wing. Through You, may we the Father know, through You, th’eternal Son and You, the Spirit of them both, thrice-blessed Three in One. . . . Amen!
Saint of the Day – 4 February – Saint Andrew Corsini O.Carm (1302-1373) Bishop of Fiesole from 1349 until his death, known as the “Apostle of Florence,” Carmelite Friar, Penitent, apostle of the poor, peacemaker, Papal Legate. Born as Andrea Corsini on 30 November 1302 in Florence, (Republic of Florence) current Italy and died on 6 January 1373 (aged 70) in Fiesole, Italy. Additional Memorial – 9 February (Carmelites). Patronages – Florence,Fiesole,Diplomats, against civil disorder, against riots. His body is incorrupt.
Andrew Corsini was born in Florence on 30 November 1302 into the noble and illustrious Corsini family, one of twelve children born to Nicholas Corsini and Peregrina degli Stracciabende. He was named in honour of Saint Andrew whose Feastday it was. Before his birth, his parents dedicated him to God, under the protection of the Blessed Virgin.
He was wild in his youth, extravagance and vice were normal to him and it pained his devout mother. His parents severely rebuked him for his behaviour and he resolved to amend his ways and try to live up to their expectations. He went to the Carmelite Monastery at the Santa Maria del Carmine Church to consider what course to take and despite the entreaties of his dissolute friends, decided to become a Carmelite friar.
He joined the Carmelites in Florence in 1318 for his novitiate and began a life of great mortification. He was Ordained to the Priesthood in 1328 and said his first Mass in a hermitage so as to avoid the customary family celebrations. Corsini began preaching in Florence and was then sent for his studies to the University of Paris and later to Avignon, where he resided with his cousin, Cardinal Pietro Corsini. He returned to Florence in 1332 and was chosen as Prior of his convent. He became known as the “Apostle of Florence.” In 1348 he was appointed as the order’s Tuscan Provincial during the General Chapter meeting in Metz.
On 13 October 1349, Pope Clement VI appointed him Bishop of Fiesole. Upon learning of this appointment, the reluctant Corsini went into hiding. An inscription on his tomb states that “he was snatched from the Carmel to the Church and the mitre of Fiesole.” A child discovered him at the charterhouse at Enna and he later accepted the nomination as Bishop as the result of a vision.
He redoubled his austerities as Bishop, wearing a hair shirt and sleeping on a bed of vine-branches. At Fiesole, just northeast of Florence, he gained a reputation as a peacemaker between rival political factions and for his care of the poor. Pope Urban V sent him to Bologna as a Papal Legate to heal the breach between the nobles and the people. “His family connections made him acceptable to the nobility and his life of poverty, endeared him to the poor and he did succeed in bringing peace.”
Corsini appointed two vicars to aid him in governing his Diocese and enforced discipline amongst the Diocesan Priests. A number of miraculous cures were attributed to his prayers.
It was reported that in 1372 or 1373, as he celebrated Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, that the Blessed Virgin appeared to him and told him he would leave this world on the Three Kings’ feast. It came to pass, that he fell ill on Christmas night and died as foretold, on 6 January 1373 or 1374 (the discrepancy in the dates is due to a different date in the Florentine calendar). His remains were moved to Florence in the evening of 2 February 1374 and were later found to be incorrupt upon exhumation in 1385. The location of his burial was damaged in 1771 but his remains were left undisturbed.
Miracles so multiplied at his death, that Pope Eugene IV permitted a public devotion to him, although it was not confirmed until later. Pope Eugene IV Beatified Andrew Corsini on 21 April 1440. Among the miracles attributed to Corsini’s intervention was the Florentine victory over the Milanese at the Battle of Anghiari on 29 June 1440. Petitions were lodged in 1465 and 1466 to Pope Paul II, requesting his Canonisation and the pope appointed a commission to investigate the matter. Pope Urban VIII Canonised St Andrew Corsini, on 22 April 1629.
In 1675 after his Canonisation, the members of the Corsini family had the Corsini Chapel built in the Carmelite church of Santa Maria del Carmine as a more suitable resting place for his remains. Pope Clement XII – born Lorenzo Corsini – erected in the Roman Basilica of Saint John Lateran a magnificent Chapel dedicated to his kinsman.
In 1702 or 1703 a Statue in his honour was commissioned and placed along the colonnade in Saint Peter’s Square.
Prayer God our Father, You reveal that those who work for peace will be called Your children. Through the prayers of St Andrew Corsini, who excelled as a peacemaker, help us to work without ceasing for that justice, which brings truth and lasting peace. We ask this through Christ, Our Lord. Amen
Nostra Signora del Fuoco /Our Lady of Fire, Forli, Italy (1428) – 4 February:
The best-known print in early times was certainly the miraculous woodcut of Forli in north-eastern Italy, which became famous as Our Lady of Fire, or Nostra Signora del Fuoco /Our Lady of the Fire. It is the subject of the earliest monograph on a printed picture, which also fixes the earliest date that can be attached to a surviving Italian print. This book is Giuliano Bezzi’s “Il Fuoco Trionfante,” printed in 1637 at Forli, between Florence and Ravenna and he speaks of the miracle remembered as Our Lady of Fire. “Around the year of our Lord 1420, in a pleasant house by the Cathedral at Forli, the devout and learned Lombardino Brussi of Ripetrosa imitated Christ among the disciples at Emmaus by breaking the bread of the fear of the Lord and of humane letters with school boys. Their household devotion turned to the Virgin. They ever began and ended their literary exercises by praising and praying to this great sovereign of the universe. They said their prayers before an image of Our Lady rudely printed from a woodblock on a paper about a foot square. Printing was then new and who knows if this may not have been the first print by the first printmaker? The simplicity of the image certainly matched the well-mannered scholar’s simplicity of heart. It showed and still shows, the most Blessed Virgin holding her Holy Infant and surrounded by saints like King Solomon by his guard. Above to the right and left shine the sun and the moon, luminously forecasting that the Virgin was to consecrate this paper with a power like the moon’s over water and the sun’s over fair weather.
The devotion to the Virgin had advanced these happy boys from easy letters to graver studies when, on 4 February 1428, fire broke out in the downstairs classroom. Whether it started by accident or by design, is not known but certain it is, that the outcome so glorified God and His Blessed Mother that fires nowadays cause joy where they burn! When this fire had feasted on the benches and cupboards of the school, it followed its nature to ascend and sprang at the sacred paper. In awe at the sight of the most holy image, the flames stopped and – wonder of wonders – like the blameless fingers of a loving hand, they detached it from the wall to which it was tacked. The fire thought the wall too base a support for so sublime a portrait and longed to uphold the heaven of that likeness, like the other heaven, on a blazing sphere. Above the flames raging in the closed room the unscorched image floated as on a throne. When the fire had consumed the ceiling beams it wafted out the revered leaf, not to burn but to exalt it. With this leaf on its back it flew to the second floor, to the third, to the roof, then through the roof and behold, the Virgin’s image burst above the wondrous pyre like a phoenix, triumphant and unconsumed! The miracle drew the eyes of all the populace and came to the ears of Monsignor Domenico Capranica, the Papal Legate, who carried the paper in a procession, accompanied by all the people, to the Cathedral of Santa Croce, where it was placed in a holy but simple chapel.”
The building burned to the ground but the image of Our Lady of Fire was not forgotten. Copies were made of the image and they could be found in every Christian home in the region. The original print itself, was the focus and centre of religious life in the town of Forli, which had been blessed to witness such a great miracle.
Martyrs of Perga – 4 saints: A group of shepherds martyred in the persecutions of Decius. The only details we have about them are the names – Claudian, Conon, Diodorus and Papias. They were martyred in c 250 in Perga, Asia Minor (in modern Turkey).