Thought for the Day – 15 February – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Spirit of Prayer
“The alchemists of old were searching for a legendary stone which would transform metal into gold. This stone, does not exist, of course but, in the supernatural order, the spirit of prayer really can change everything to gold. When they are accompanied by this spirit, all our actions are most pleasing to God and draw His further favours. Blessed Maria Assunta Pallotta, understood this truth clearly and put it into practice in her life. She tended animals, served in the kitchen and was a missionary in China but, no matter what she was doing, she was moved by the spirit of prayer and of the love of God. “I ask God,” she wrote to her parents, “to spread throughout the world that purity of intention which consists in performing our most ordinary actions for the love of God.” Let us follow this example. Let us put into practice this great rule of the spiritual life. Then, all our actions will be acceptable prayer ascending to God.”
Quote/s of the Day – 15 February – The Memorial of St Claude de la Colombiere SJ (1641-1682) “Apostle of the Sacred Heart”
“He promises to be [our] strength, in proportion to the trust which [we] place in Him.”
“… Make use of Our Lord as an armour which covers [us] all about, by means of which [we] shall resist every device of [our] enemies. You shall then be my Strength, O my God! You shall be my Guide, my Director, my Counsellor, my Patience, my Knowledge, my Peace, my Justice and my Prudence.”
“[Prayer] is the one means for our purification, the one way to union with God, the one channel by which God may unite Himself with us, that He may do anything with us, for His glory. To obtain the virtues of an apostle, we must pray; to make them of use to our neighbour, we must pray; to prevent our losing them, while we use them in His service, we must pray. The counsel, or rather the commandment: Pray always, seems to me extremely sweet and by no means impossible. It secures the practice of the presence of God …”
St Claude de la Colombiere (1641-1682) “Apostle of the Sacred Heart”
And he sighed deeply in his spirit and said, “Why does this generation seek a sign?” – Mark 8:12
REFLECTION – “Admire God’s wonderful work, come out of your sleep. Are you only going to admire extraordinary miracles? But are they any greater than those that daily take place before your eyes? Are people astonished because our Lord Jesus Christ satisfied several thousand persons with five loaves (Mt 14,19f) and are not surprised that a few seeds are enough to cover the ground with abundant harvests? They are filled with wonder when they see our Saviour change water into wine (Jn 2,19); isn’t it the same thing when rain goes through the roots of the vine? The author of both these miracles is the same…
Our Lord worked miracles and yet many despised him… They said to themselves : ‘The works are divine but, as for Him, he is only a man.’ Therefore, you see two things: divine works on the one hand and a Man on the other. If those divine works can only be carried out by God, could it not be because God is hidden in this Man? Yes. Be very attentive to what you see and believe what you do not see. He who calls on you to believe, has not abandoned you to yourself, even if He asks you to believe what you cannot see, He has not left you without anything to see, to help you believe what is unseen. Isn’t creation itself a faint sign, a faint manifestation of the Creator? In addition, look at Him who comes into the world and works miracles. You were unable to see God but you were able to see a Man – therefore God became Man, so that what you see and what you believe, should be but One!” – St Augustine (354-430) Bishop of Hippo (North Africa), Father and Doctor of the Church – Sermon 126, 4-5
PRAYER – Almighty Lord and God, protect us by Your power throughout the course of this day, even as You have enabled us to begin it. Your grace is all that we need, to see the loving kindness of Your Son, our Lord Jesus in all we see and do and think. Do not let us turn aside from His path but by the faith You have granted us, let us find meaning in all, which is the sign of Your glory. Do not let us turn aside to sin and may the intercession of St Claude de la Colombiere (1641-1682), grant us courage and peace. Through Jesus Christ, our Saviour, with the Holy Spirit, God now and forever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 15 February – The Memorial of St Claude de la Colombiere SJ (1641-1682) “Apostle of the Sacred Heart”
Lord, be the Centre of Our Hearts By St Claude de la Colombiere
O God, what will You do to conquer the fearful hardness of our hearts? Lord, You must give us new hearts, tender hearts, sensitive hearts, to replace hearts that are made of marble and of bronze. You must give us Your own Heart, Jesus. Come, lovable Heart of Jesus. Place Your Heart deep in the centre of our hearts and enkindle in each heart a flame of love as strong, as great, as the sum of all the reasons that I have for loving You, my God. O holy Heart of Jesus, dwell hidden in my heart, so that I may live only in You and only for You, so that, in the end, I may live with You eternally in heaven. Amen
Saint of the Day – 15 February – Blessed Angelus de Scarpetti OSA (Died c 1306) Religious of the Order of the Hermits of St Augustine, Missionary, miracle-worker. Born at Borgo San Sepolcro modern Sansepolcro, Italy and died in 1306 at Borgo San Sepolcro modern Sansepolcro, Italy. Also known as – Angelo de Scarpetti, Angelus of Sansepolcro, Angelo of Borgo San Sepolcro
Angelus was born into the Scarpetti family in Sansepolcro, Italy, in the first half of the thirteenth century. He entered the convent in his city of the Hermits of St John the Good in approximately 1254. In 1256 the convent passed to the new Order of the Hermit Friars of St Augustine. There he became a fellow-student with Saint Nicholas of Tolentino.
He was sent to England as a Missionary but we have little information of his time there.
His reputation for sanctity was endowed by some miraculous episodes that occurred during his lifetime, including the resurrection of an innocent man who was condemned to death. Angelus had made a formal request for the innocent man’s pardon but it was refused and the man was executed. However, by Angelus’ fervent entreaties to the only Judge, the man was raised to life.
Since the sixteenth century, Augustinian writers have noted his profound humility, unflinching charity and his spotless purity of spirit and body. All of these gained him, among his countrymen, renown as a man acceptable to God, who God made full of supernatural gifts.
Angelus died in Sansepolcro in 1306. In 1905 the local Diocese began the process for his Beatification, which reached a successful conclusion in 1922.
His body is currently kept in a carved, gilt wooden casket that is decorated with scenes from his life and is kept under the main altar of the Church of Sant’Agostino in Sansepolcro.
Angelus was Beatified on 27 July 1921 by Pope Benedict XV.
Notre-Dame de Paris / Our Lady of Paris, France (522) – 15 February:
There does not seem to be a great deal of information about Our Lady of Paris; it is an ancient title and can be traced well back before the 12th Century, when the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris (Our Lady of Paris) was begun. Some authorities say that veneration of the Blessed Virgin in Paris can be traced to the first apostles of the city. Since Saint Paul was in Gaul (France) during his travels, it may be assumed that this veneration dates to the first century of the Christian era. And, if Mary was venerated in Paris at that early date, it is possible that she was, even then, known as Our Lady of Paris. Briefly, as long as Christian minds can remember, Paris was consecrated to the Virgin Mary, whom the inhabitants always venerated. It is known that Our Lady of Paris was a Church first built by King Childebert in the year 522. About the year 1257, the King, Saint Louis IX assisted in the construction of a larger Church carried on in the same place, on the foundations which King Philip Augustus had laid in the year 1191. The older Church built by King Childebert, which had been dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, had became too ruinous to be repaired, so Maurice, Bishop of Paris, decided to rebuild it and, at the same time, adorn Paris with a Cathedral that would outshine all those which had hitherto been built anywhere.
Plans were drawn up during the reign of King Louis VII and work had actually begun on Notre Dame de Paris, Notre Dame Cathedral, in 1162. The cornerstone was laid in the presence of Pope Alexander III. Notre Dame is a huge Gothic Cathedral on the Ile de la Cite, with beautiful flying buttresses to support the tremendous height of the walls and are adorned with stylish gargoyles. It is home to a reliquary which contains Christ’s Crown of Thorns. By the beginning of the fourteenth century, perhaps 1345, the Cathedral was finished, virtually as it stands today. Sometime during the building of the Cathedral, a statue of Our Lady was fashioned and installed in place. As was typical, the Cathedral was desecrated during the French Revolution and many of the religious artifacts were lost to future generations, although the incredible stained glass windows were not destroyed, including the three spectacular “rose window” that can still be seen today.
A smoke detector first alerted building staff to a fire beneath the roof at 6:18 pm on 15 April 2019, f Notre-Dame de Paris. By the time it was extinguished, the building’s spire collapsed and most of its roof had been destroyed and its upper walls severely damaged. Extensive damage to the interior was prevented by its stone vaulted ceiling, which largely contained the burning roof as it collapsed.
Many works of art and religious relics were moved to safety early in the emergency but others suffered some smoke damage and some exterior art was damaged or destroyed. The Cathedral’s altar, two pipe organs, and its three 13th-century rose windows suffered little to no damage.
Three emergency workers were injured. French President, Emmanuel Macron, said that the Cathedral would be restored by 2024 and launched a fundraising campaign which brought in pledges of over €1 billion as of 22 April 2019. A complete restoration could require twenty years or more. On 25 December 2019, the Cathedral did not host ChristmasMass for the first time since 1803.
Martyrs of Passae: Castulus Lucius Magnus Saturninus
Martyrs of Prague – 14 beati – Franciscan Friars Minor martyred together by a mob led by Lutherans – • Blessed Antonín of Prague • Blessed Bartolomeo Dalmasoni • Blessed Bedrich Bachstein • Blessed Christoffel Zelt • Blessed Didak Jan • Blessed Emmanuel of Prague • Blessed Gaspare Daverio • Blessed Giovanni Bodeo • Blessed Girolamo degli Arese • Blessed Jakob of Prague • Blessed Jan of Prague • Blessed Juan Martínez • Blessed Klemens of Prague • BlessedSimon of Prague They were martyred on • Shrove Tuesday 15 February 1611 at the Church of Our Lady of the Snows in Prague, Czech Republic • body dumped nearby but given Christian burial on 19 February 1611 in the monastery • re-interred in the side chapel of the church in 1616. Beatified 13 October 2012 by Pope Benedict XVI
Martyrs of Sweden: Sigfrid Sunaman Unaman Winaman
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War: Bl Pere Vallmitjana Abarca