Thought for the Day – 21 February – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Detachment from the World
“St John Bosco said, that we should ork as if we never had to die. But, we should also be as detached from worldly things, as if we had to die in one hour. A man who works like this, can accomplish wonders because, he is not working for himself but, for God. We should work and pray with our feet on the earth and our minds in heaven. We should seek God, not ourselves, in everything which we do. Let us remember, that one moment in Heaven, is worth infinitely more than all the pleasure, love and vanity of this world!”
Day Five of our Lenten Journey – 21 February – The First Sunday of Lent, Readings: Genesis 9:8-15, Psalms 25:4-5, 6-7,8-9, 1 Peter 3:18-22, Mark 1:12-15
Imitating Christ with Thomas à Kempis CRSA (1380-1471)
In Your Light Lord, we see light
“The kingdom of God is within you,” says the Lord (Luke 17:21).
Turn, then, to God with all your heart. Forsake this wretched world and your soul shall find rest. Learn to despise external things, to devote yourself to those that are within and you will see the kingdom of God come unto you, that kingdom which is peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, gifts not given to the impious. Christ will come to you offering His consolation, if you prepare a fit dwelling for Him in your heart, whose beauty and glory, wherein He takes delight, are all from within. His visits with the inward man are frequent, His communion sweet and full of consolation, His peace great and His intimacy wonderful indeed. Therefore, faithful soul, prepare your heart for this Bridegroom that He may come and dwell within you. He Himself says: “If anyone love Me, he will keep My word and My Father will love him and We will come to him and will make Our abode with him”. (John 14:23). Give place, then, to Christ but deny entrance to all others, for when you have Christ you are rich and He is sufficient for you. He will provide for you. He will supply your every want, so that you need not trust in frail, changeable men. Christ remains forever, standing firmly with us to the end. […] Place all your trust in God, let Him be your fear and your love. He will answer for you, He will do what is best for you. You have here no lasting home. You are a stranger and a pilgrim wherever you may be and you shall have no rest, until you are wholly united with Christ. Why do you look about here when this is not the place of your repose? Dwell rather upon heaven and give but a passing glance to all earthly things. They all pass away and you together with them. Take care, then, that you do not cling to them lest you be entrapped and perish. Fix your mind on the Most High, and pray unceasingly to Christ. If you do not know how to meditate on heavenly things, direct your thoughts to Christ’s passion and willingly behold His sacred wounds. If you turn devoutly to the wounds and precious stigmata of Christ, you will find great comfort in suffering, you will mind but little the scorn of men and you will easily bear their slanderous talk. (Book 2, Ch 1)
Quote/s of the Day – 21 February – First Sunday of Lent, Readings: Genesis 9:8-15, Psalms 25:4-5, 6-7,8-9, 1 Peter 3:18-22, Mark 1:12-15 and the Memorial of St Peter Damian OSB (1007-1072) Doctor of the Church and St Robert Southwell SJ (1561-1595) Priest and Martyr
“We … are under an obligation to be the light of the world by the modesty of our behaviour, the fervour of our charity, the innocence of our lives and the example of our virtues. Thus shall we be able to raise the lowered prestige of the Catholic Church and, to build up again, the ruins that others by their vices have caused. Others, by their wickedness, have branded the Catholic Faith with a mark of shame, we must strive, with all our strength, to cleanse it from its ignominy and to restore it to its pristine glory!”
St Robert Southwell SJ (1561-1595) Priest and Martyr
“This is the time of fulfilment. The kingdom of God is at hand” – Mark 1:14
REFLECTION – “After John had been arrested, Jesus came into Galilee…” According to our interpretation, John stands for the Law and Jesus the Gospel. Indeed, John says: “One mightier than I is coming after me…” (Mk 1,7) and elsewhere: “He must increase, I must decrease” (Jn 3,30): in this way he compares the Law with the Gospel. And afterwards he says: “I – that is, the Law – baptise you with water; he – that is the Gospel – will baptise you in the Holy Spirit” (Mk 1,8). And so Jesus comes because John had been put in prison. In effect, the Law is finished, it has been brought to an end, it no longer has its former freedom. But we have passed from the Law to the Gospel…
“Jesus came into Galilee preaching the gospel, the Good News of the Kingdom of God”… When I read the Law, prophets and psalms, I never heard them speak of the Kingdom of heaven – only in the gospel. For only when He came, of whom it is said “the Kingdom of God is in your midst” (Lk 17,21) that God’s Kingdom was thrown open… In fact, before the Saviour’s coming and the Light of the Gospel, before Christ opened the gate of paradise with the thief (Lk 23,43), all holy souls descended to the place of the dead. Jacob himself said: “I will go down weeping and mourning to the nether world” (Gn 37,35)… In the Law, Abraham rests with the dead; in the gospel, the thief is in paradise. We are not denigrating Abraham, we all want to rest in his bosom (Lk 16,23 but we prefer Christ to Abraham, the Gospel to the Law.
We read that after Christ’s Resurrection many saints appeared in the holy city (Mt 27,53). Our Lord and Saviour preached on earth and preached, too, to the underworld. He died and descended to hell to free the souls held captive there (1Pt 3,18f.).” – St Jerome (347-420), Priest, Translator of the Bible, Father and Doctor of the Church – Homilies on Saint Mark’s Gospel, no.2A ; SC 494
PRAYER – Through our annual Lenten observance Lord, deepen our understanding of the mystery of Christ and make it a reality in the conduct of our lives,. Teach us by the example and doctrine of St Peter Damian to prefer nothing whatever to Christ and to make the service of Your Church our chief concern and so, come to the joy of Your eternal Kingdom. We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus, in unity with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 21 February – First Sunday of Lent
Soul of Christ, sanctify me Body of Christ, save me Blood of Christ, inebriate me Water from the side of Christ, wash me Passion of Christ, strengthen me Good Jesus, hear me Within Your wounds, shelter me from turning away, keep me From the evil one, protect me At the hour of my death, call me Into Your presence lead me to praise You with all Your saints Forever and ever, Amen
For many years the Anima Christi was popularly believed to have been composed by Saint Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556) , as he puts it at the beginning of his Spiritual Exercises and often refers to it. In the first edition of the Spiritual Exercises Ignatius merely mentions it, evidently supposing that the reader would know it. In later editions, it was printed in full. It was by assuming that everything in the book was written by Ignatius that it came to be looked upon as his composition. On this account the prayer is sometimes referred to as the Aspirations of St. Ignatius Loyola and so my image shows St Ignatius at prayer.
However, the prayer actually dates to the early fourteenth century and was possibly written by Pope John XXII but its authorship remains uncertain. It has been found in a number of prayer books printed during the youth of Ignatius and is in manuscripts which were written a hundred years before his birth. The English hymnologist James Mearns found it in a manuscript of the British Museum which dates back to about 1370. In the library of Avignon there is preserved a prayer book of Cardinal Pierre de Luxembourg (died 1387), which contains the prayer in practically the same form as we have it today. It has also been found inscribed on one of the gates of the Alcázar of Seville, which dates back to the time of Pedro the Cruel (1350–1369).
The invocations in the prayer have rich associations with Catholic concepts that relate to the Eucharist (Body and Blood of Christ), Baptism (water) and the Passion of Jesus (Holy Wounds).
Saint of the Day – 21 February – Blessed Caterina Dominici/Maria Enrichetta (1829–1894) Nun of the Sisters of St Anne – whose main charism is the care and education of street children, Mystic with an extraordinary devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, close friend and adviser to St John Bosco in establishing the Rule of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, also “lending” two nuns to the new Congregation. During the 1854 Broad Street cholera outbreak, she cared for and ministered to countless people. She then went on to serve for over three decades as the Superior General of her Congregation. Born on 10 October 1829 in Borgo Salsasio, Carmagnola, Turin, Italy and died on 21 February 1894, aged 64, in Turin, Italy of natural causes. Also known as Mother Maria Enrichetta (her religious name), Anna Caterina, Maria Henrich Dominici, Mother Maria Enrica Dominici.
Caterina Dominici was born on 10 October 1829 near Turin, as the fourth daughter. One brother would become a Priest. She was four when her parents separated and she went with her mother and siblings to live with her Priest uncle.
As a child she grew into the habit of regular Confession and Holy Communion. She moved in 1848 and in November 1850 became a non-cloistered religious of the Sisters of Saint Anne. She assumed the name of “Maria Enrichetta.” Pope Pius IX visited Loreto in 1857 and Sr Maria was present along with St Madeleine Sophie Barat when the Pope met with the professed religious.
Sr Maria Enrichetta was appointed as the Superior General of her Congregation and she at first attempted to discourage her fellow sisters from the appointment.
Now Mother Maria, she founded about thirty houses, reaching Rome and Sicily. With each term of office confirmed, it did not seem possible to have another mother general. As a girl she had dreamed of becoming a missionary to India, now, she could fulfill the vow indirectly, sending her nuns. In February 1871 six of them left, which the Mother entrusted to the Holy Trinity of which she was very devoted. Her new foundation in India opened a path that would bear great fruit. In October 1879 she went in person to distant India, to Secunderabad, to visit the Institute’s first Missionary home.
On 14 July 1884 she was received at an audience by Pope Leo XIII.
Her health started to decline from November 1893 and Caterina was confined to bed. She continued to lead the institute, despite suffering and pain. She spent her last week in drowsiness and despite this, she continued to speak in a weak voice to those around her bedside.
Affable and kind, however, she was reserved and of a few words. She meditated for hours before the Tabernacle and she obtained permission from the Holy See, for her nuns to make daily communion.
Her writings, autobiography and copious letters, speak her total abandonment to God. She wrote: “Oh how happy lives the soul that lives totally abandoned in God. Oh if everyone knew this happiness …”
Sr Maria Enrichetta died in 1894 and her remains were transferred in 1926 to the chapel of the mother house.
The investigation for a miracle attributed to her intercession, spanned from 1949 to 1950 and was validated in 1952. Paul VI approved it in 1977 and Beatified her on 7 May 1978.
There are currently Houses of St Anne in Italy, Switzerland, Cameroon, Argentina, Peru, Philippines, Mexico, Brazil, USA. In India there are eighty houses, more than in Italy.
Notre-Dame de Bon-Port / Our Lady of Bon Port/Good Haven, Paimpol, France (1838) – 21 February:
In 1838, the crew of a vessel which had just arrived at Paimpol, in France, forty-eight in number, accomplished a vow they had made in a most perilous voyage from Newfoundland. A terrific tempest had arisen, their sails were tor, and for three days they were in continual danger of finding a watery grave. The ship began to fill with water and all hope of safety seemed lost, when the crew, by common consent, turned their eyes to Mary, Star of the Sea and asked for good haven. They promised if she saved them, they would visit in the most supplicant manner, the Church at Paimpol, where there is an image of Our Lady much venerated by the people. They had scarcely ended their prayer, when the weather became more calm and the waves began to subside. Profiting by this providential change, they repaired their sails and had a favourable wind, until they reached the coasts of Brittany. They landed in safety at Knod, toward the decline of day and their first act was to prostrate themselves on the ground and give God thanks for their safe return. They then intoned the Litany of the Blessed Virgin and advanced barefooted and bare-headed along the banks and through the streets of Paimpol, to the Church of the Good Haven. The people attracted in crowds by the novelty of the sight, followed them. There were parents who went to give thanks to Our Lady of Good Haven for the return of their sons and wives, to thank Mary for restoring their husbands to them. Tears streamed down from every eye, and the immense multitude knelt down before the Altar of that powerful Virgin, who had received from her Son, the power to command wind and wave. The torches shed a dim light on the recessed of the sanctuary, where stood the image of the Blessed Virgin, Our Lady of Good Haven, whose inclined head and exteneded arms seemed to say to all, “Come to me, I am your Mother.” These pious mariners with the most touching expression of sentiment, chanted the hymn, “Ave Maria Stella” in which they were joined in gratitude by the people.
“Bright Mother of our Maker, hail! Thou Virgin ever blest, The ocean’s star, by which we sail, And gain the port of rest.”
St Avitus II of Clermont Blessed Caterina Dominici/Maria Enrichetta SSA (1829–1894) Nun Bl Claudio di Portaceli St Daniel of Persia Bl Eleanora St Ercongotha St Eustathius of Antioch St Felix of Metz St George of Amastris St Germanus of Granfield St Gundebert of Sens Blessed Noel Pinot (1747-1794) Priest and Martyr His Life and Death: https://anastpaul.com/2020/02/21/saint-of-the-day-21-february-blessed-noel-pinot-1747-1794-priest-and-martyr/ St Paterius of Brescia (Died 606) Bishop St Pepin of Landen St Peter Mavimenus St Randoald of Granfield
St Severian of Scythopolis St Severus of Syrmium Bl Thomas Pormort St Valerius of San Pedro de Montes St Verda of Persia — Martyrs of Sicily – 79 saints – Seventy-nine Christians martyred together in the persecutions of Diocletian. They were martyred in c 303 on Sicily.
Martyrs of Hadrumetum – A group of 26 Christians martyred together by Vandals. We know little more than eight of their names – Alexander, Felix, Fortunatus, Saturninus, Secundinus, Servulus, Siricius and Verulus. c 434 at Hadrumetum (modern Sousse, Tunisia)
Martyrs Uchibori – Three Japanese laymen, all brothers, all sons of Paulus Uchibori Sakuemon, one a teenager, one only five years old and all martyred for their faith in the persecutions in Japan. 21 February 1627 in Shimabara, Nagasaki, Japan. Beatified 24 November 2008 by Pope Benedict XVI. Antonius Balthasar Ignatius