Thought for the Day – 20 March – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Shortness of Time
“When we are dying, we shall think with sorrow of our past life. Then we shall fully understand the fleeting nature of time and the vanity of worldly things. The world, with its empty grandeur and hollow or sinful pleasures, will seem like a cloud, which passes, or, like a curtain, which is drawn to reveal the entrance to eternity. Our only comfort will be the number of hours which we have given to prayer and mortification, to charitable work for our poor brothers in Christ and, to apostolic labours. All the rest, will have passed away, never to return. But the good which we have done, will remain as our supreme consolation in that final hour.”
Day Thirty-two of our Lenten Journey – 20 March – Saturday of the Fourth week of Lent, Readings: Jeremiah 11:18-20, Psalm 7:2-3, 9-12, John 7:40-53
Imitating Christ with Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)
In You is the source of life and in Your Light Lord, we see light Psalm 35(36)
“Never before has anyone spoken like this one” – John 7:46
CHRIST: MY CHILD, allow me to do what I will with you. I know what is best for you. You think as a man, you feel in many things as human affection persuades.
DISCIPLE: Lord, what You say is true. Your care for me is greater than all the care I can take of myself. For he who does not cast all his care upon You, stands very unsafely. If only my will remain right and firm toward You, Lord, do with me, whatever pleases You. For whatever You shall do with me can only be good. If You wish me to be in darkness, I shall bless You. And if You wish me to be in light, again I shall bless You. If You stoop down to comfort me, I shall bless You and if You wish me to be afflicted, I shall bless You forever.
CHRIST: My child, this is the disposition which you should have, if you wish to walk with Me. You should be as ready to suffer as to enjoy. You should as willingly be destitute and poor, as rich and satisfied.
DISCIPLE: O Lord, I shall suffer willingly for Your sake whatever You wish to send me. I am ready to accept from Your Hand, both good and evil alike, the sweet and the bitter together, sorrow with joy and, for all that happens to me, I am grateful. Keep me from all sin and I will fear neither death nor hell. Do not cast me out forever, nor blot me out of the Book of Life and whatever tribulation befalls me, will not harm me. (Book 3 Ch 17)
Quote/s of the Day – – 28 March – Saturday of the Fourth week of Lent, Readings: Jeremiah 11:18-20, Psalm 7:2-3, 9-12, John 7:40-53
“Never before, has anyone spoken, like this one”
“Come along then, every human family, full of sin as you are and receive the forgiveness of your sins. For I Myself, am your Forgiveness, I am the Passover of salvation, the Lamb slain for your sakes, your redemption, life and resurrection; I am your Light, your Salvation and your King. It is I, who lead you to the heights of heaven, I, who will raise you up; it is I, who will bring you to see the Father who is from all eternity; it is I, who will raise you up by My all-powerful Hand.”
St Melito of Sardis (Died c 180) Bishop, Apologist
“Christ is the artist, tenderly wiping away all the grime of sin that disfigures the human face and restoring God’s image to its full beauty.”
St Gregory of Nyssa (c 335–C 395) Father of the Church
“He is the origin of all wisdom. The Word of God in the heights, is the source of wisdom. Christ is the source of all true knowledge, for He is “the way, the truth and the life.” (Jn 14:6). … As way, Christ is the teacher and origin of knowledge … Without this Ligh, which is Christ, no-one can penetrate the secrets of faith.”
St Bonaventure (1221-1274) Seraphic Doctor
“… 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.”
St Claude de la Colombiere (1641-1682) “Apostle of the Sacred Heart”
“Where, then, is true freedom? It is in the heart of one who loves nothing more than God. It is in the heart of one who is attached neither to spirit nor to matter but only to God. It is in that soul which is not subject to the “I” of egoism, which soars above its own thoughts, feelings, suffering and enjoyment. Freedom resides in the soul whose one reason for existence is God, whose life is God and nothing else but God.”
St Raphael Arnaiz Baron (1911-1938) Spanish Trappist Monk
“Never before has anyone spoken like this one” – John 7:46
REFLECTION – “God could answer: “My Son is My entire Locution and Response, Vision and Revelation, which I have already spoken, answered, manifested and revealed to you, by giving Him to you as a Brother, Companion, Master, Ransom and Reward… ‘This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased, hear him’ (Mt 17,5).
If you desire me to answer with a word of comfort, behold my Son, subject to me and to others out of love for me and the afflicted … you will see how much He answers you. If you desire me to declare some secret truths or events to you, fix your eyes only on Him and you will discern hidden in Him, the most secret mysteries and wisdom and wonders of God, as my Apostle proclaims: “In the Son of God are hidden all the treasures of the wisdom and knowledge of God” (Col 2,3). These treasures of wisdom and knowledge will be for you far more sublime, delightful and advantageous, than what you want to know. The apostle, therefore, gloried, affirming that he had acted as though he knew no other than “Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1Cor 2,2). And if you should seek other divine or corporeal visions and revelations, behold Him, become human and you will find more than you imagine. For the apostle Paul also says: “In Christ all the fullness of the divinity dwells bodily” (Col 2,9).”
One should not, then, inquire of God in this manner, nor is it necessary for God to speak anymore…: there is no more faith to reveal, nor will there ever be.” – St John of the Cross OCD (1542-1591) Carmelite, Doctor of the Church – Ascent of Mount Carmel, II, ch 22
PRAYER – In Your gentle mercy Lord, guide our wayward hearts, for we know that left to ourselves, we cannot do Your will. Almighty God, turn our hearts to Your Son, so that we, seeking the one thing necessary, may worship You and follow Him in spirit and in truth. We give You thanks for our faith, increase our faith O our God! May the prayers of all your saints and the Virgin Mary, Queen of All Saints, obtain for us the gift of humility and fidelity so that our lives may always be pleasing. Through Christ our Lord and Redeemer, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 20 March – Saturday of the Fourth Week of Lent, Mary’s Saturday
My Most Sorrowful Lady By St Anselm (1033-1109) Marian Doctor Magnificent Doctor
My most sorrowful Lady, what can I say about the fountains, that flowed from your most pure eyes, when you saw your only Son before you, bound, beaten and suffering? What do I know of the flood, that drenched your matchless face, when you beheld your Son, your Lord and your God, stretched on the cross without guilt, when the flesh of your flesh, was cruelly butchered by wicked me? How can I judge what sobs troubled your most pure breast when you heard, “Woman, behold your son,” and the disciple, “Behold, your Mother,” when you received, as a son, the disciple, in place of the Master, the servant, for the Lord? Amen
Saint of the Day – 20 March – Saint Wulfram of Sens (c 640-c 703) Archbishop of Sens and Confessor, Missionary, miracle-worker. Born in c 640 in France and died on 20 March c 703 at Fontenelle, France of natural causes. Patronages – Abbeville, France, against the dangers of the sea, childbirth and young children. Also known as Wulfram of Fontenelle, Offran, Oufran, Suffrain, Vuilfran, Vulfran, Vulfranno, Vulphran, Wilfranus, Wolfram, Wolframus, Wolfran, Wulframnus, Wulfran, Wulfrann, Wulfrannus. Additional Memorials – 15 October (translation of relics) and 8 November as one of the Saints of the Diocese of Evry.
Wulfran’s life was recorded eleven years after he died by the Monk Jonas of Fontenelle. However, there seems to be little consensus about the precise dates of most events, whether during his life or after hs death.
Wulfran’s father was an Officer in the armies of Dagobert, a powerful King of the Franks. The Saint spent some years in the Court of King Clotaire III and his mother, Saint Bathildes but he occupied his heart only with God, despising worldly greatness as empty and dangerous and daily advancing in virtue. He renounced the world and received Sacred Orders; his estate he bestowed on the Abbey of Fontenelle, or Saint Wandrille, in Normandy. He was nonetheless called to the Court, where he served until his father died. Then, because the Archbishop of Sens had recently died in 682, he was chosen to replace him, by the common consent of the clergy and people of that City.
He governed that Diocese for two and a half years, with great zeal and sanctity. It was a tender compassion for the blindness of the idolaters of Friesland and the example of the zealous English preachers in those parts, which moved him then to resign his Bishopric, with proper advice and after a retreat at Fontenelle, to enter Friesland as a poor missionary Priest.
On the voyage by water, the Deacon who served him at the Altar, accidentally dropped the paten into the sea. Saint Wulfran told him to place his hand where it had fallen on the waves and it came up to him by a miracle. For long years that paten was conserved in the Monastery of Saint Wandrille. On this mission wULFRAM baptized great multitudes, among them a son of their King, Radbod and drew the people away from the barbarous custom of sacrificing human beings to idols.
The custom was that pagan people, including children, were sacrificed to the local gods having been selected by a form of lottery. Wulfram, having remonstrated with Radbod on the subject, was told that the King was unable to change the custom but Wulfram was invited to save them if he could. The saint then waded into the sea, to save two children who had been tied to posts and left to drown as the tide rose. The turning point came, with the rescue of a young man, Ovon, who had been chosen by lot, to be sacrificed by hanging. Wulfram begged King Radbod to stop the killing but the people were outraged at the sacrilege proposed. In the end, they agreed that Wulfram’s God could have a chance to save Ovon’s life and if he did, Wulfram and his God could rescue him. Ovon was hanged and left for a few of hours, while Wulfram prayed. When the Frisians decided to leave Ovon for dead, the rope broke, Ovon fell and was still alive. Ovon became Wulfram’s devoted servant, his disciple, a Monk and then a Priest at Fontenelle Abbey. The faith of the missionaries (and their power to work miracles) frightened and awed the pagan people, who were Baptised and turned away from paganism.
Even Radbod seemed ready for conversion but just before his Baptism, he asked where his ancestors were. Wulfram told him that idolaters went to Hell. Rather than be apart from his ancestors, he chose to stay as he was.
Wulfran finally retired to Fontenelle, where he died in c 703. The Saint’s year of death is sometimes given as 720 but his interred body is said to have been moved in 704. Regardless of the exact year, St Wulfram’s feast day is kept on 20 March. He was buried in St Paul’s Chapel in the Abbey but in 704, his relics were translated to the Church. The body was again moved in 1058, this time to the collegiate Church of Our Lady in Abbeville, which was then re-dedicated in Wulfram’s name. The translation of his body to Abbeville is commemorated on 15 October.
At about this time or later, perhaps when his body was again moved, this time to Rouen, his arm was taken as a relic to Croyland Abbey, Lincolnshire. The interest in him there, may have arisen from Ingulph, the Zbbot being a former Monk of Fontenelle. After the building at Crowland was damaged by fire, there was no longer a suitable place for keeping the relic, so it went to Grantham for safe-keeping. For two or three hundred years, it was kept in the Crypt Chapel below the Lady Chapel, where the pilgrims helped to wear the hollow, now to be seen in stone step before the Altar. Later, towards 1350, the arm went to the specially added Chapel above the north porch. At some stage in the long process of the English Reformation, this relic was lost.
A hagiographical account of his miracles was produced at the Abbey of Saint Wandrille before 1066. Among the miracles are two pertaining to childbirth and children. In one, Wulfram is credited with the miraculous delivery of a stillborn baby, the mother having commenced labour on 20 January (the feast day of Saint Sebastian). A week after Easter, prayers to Wulfram caused her belly to split open so the dead child could be delivered, after which, the wound healed as if it had never been, leaving only a “token of the cut.”
In the other, Wulfram is credited with the safe passage of an accidentally swallowed clothespin, which left the body of a two-year-old boy, after three days, without having injured it: “Is it not miraculous how through all the twists of the boy’s intestines, as if through fine small round tubes, the copper sharp object, now going up high, now going down low, could travel without getting stuck anywhere or causing wounds and so at last through Nature’s lower parts, find a way out all in one piece?”
Our Lady of Calevourt, near Brussels, Belgium (1454) – 20 March:
The Abbot Mathieu Orsini wrote: “Our Lady of Calevoirt, at Uckelen, near Brussels. This image began to work miracles in the year 1454, which led to the determination to build a magnificent Chapel in honour of Our Blessed Lady, in the year 1623, which the Infanta of Spain, Isabella Clara Eugenia, devoutly visited in the same year.”
The image of Our Lady is known under various titles, due to the fact, that Mary gives aid, even miraculous aid, when called upon for help. Our Lady of Calevourt is perhaps better known as Our Lady of Good Success, or Our Lady of Aberdeen. We are told that during the Protestant “Reformation,” the figure was taken to Flanders and hidden away by a Catholic family to protect it from profanation. In due course, it fell into the hands of Protestants but this family, received numerous graces and blessing,s which they attributed to the presence of the holy image in their house. They were reconciled to the Church as a result. In 1623 a Spanish captain was given the Statue, with instructions to place it into the hands of Archduchess Isabella. The arrival of the Statue in Brussels is related under several incidents. The same day the ship arrived, the Infanta Isabella won a battle against the Hollanders. The Princess sent the Statue back to Brussles, providing the necessary funds for a Sanctuary she intended to be called Our Lady of Aberdeen. The townspeople greeted the Statue enthusiastically with a procession and placed it in the Chapel but when the victory became known, the name of the Sanctuary was changed and dedicated instead to Our Lady of Good Success. From that time on, Mary travelled from place to place but always her image was saved. During the Terrors of the French Revolution, the Statue was given to an English Catholic who kept it safe until 1805, when it was restored to Belgium. A few years later, the Protestants forced the image to be transferred to a Parish Church in Finistere, where the image now reigns peacefully over her beloved people. The Statue of the Blessed Mother stands with her Divine Child reclining on her right arm, His feet supported by the lift hand of His Mother.
__ Bl Ambrose Sansedoni of Siena Anastasius XVI Archippus of Colossi St Benignus of Flay St Cathcan of Rath-derthaighe St Clement of Ireland St Cuthbert of Lindisfarne Bl Francis Palau y Quer St Guillermo de Peñacorada St Herbert of Derwenwater Bl Hippolytus Galantini Bl Jeanne Veron Bl John Baptist Spagnuolo St John Nepomucene St John Sergius St Jósef Bilczewski (1860-1923) Biography: https://anastpaul.com/2019/03/20/saint-of-the-day-20-march-st-josef-bilczewski-1860-1923/
St Nicetas of Apollonias St Remigius of Strasbourg St Tertricus of Langres St Urbitius of Metz St Wulfram of Sens (c 640-c 703) Bishop — Martyrs of Amisus – 8 saints: A group of Christian women martyred together in the persecutions of Diocletian. The only details we have are eight of their names – Alexandra, Caldia, Derphuta, Euphemia, Euphrasia, Juliana, Matrona and Theodosia. They were burned to death c 300 in Amisus, Paphlagonia (modern Samsun, Turkey).
Martyrs of Rome – 9+ saints: A group of Christians martyred together in the persecutions of Nero. We know nothing else about them but the names Anatolius, Cyriaca, Joseph, Parasceve, Photis, Photius, Sebastian and Victor.
Martyrs of San Saba – 20 saints: Twenty monks who were martyred together in their monastery by invading Saracens. They were martyred in 797 when they were burned inside the San Sabas monastery in Palestine.
Martyrs of Syria – 3+ saints: A group of Christians who were martyred together in Syria. We know nothing else about them but the names Cyril, Eugene and Paul.