Thought for the Day – 30 March –The Hour of Trial

Thought for the Day – 30 March – A Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Hour of Trial

“Whether they are physical, moral or spiritual, these severe trials affect us greatly.
We feel crushed and abandoned, lacking in the power to resist and tend to yield to temptation or to despair.
At these times, we should take the Crucifix in our hands and remember the suffering of Jesus.
Let us recall His terrible physical suffering, as He was dying upon the Cross.
Let us remember the suffering of His Heart, when He was betrayed by Judas, deserted by the Apostles, denied by St Peter and rejected by his own people.
Finally, let us recall His spiritual sufferings, for He, Who was innocence itself, willed to carry the weight of our sins and to experience, in a mysterious manner, the sense of abandonment by His heavenly Father.

No matter what our trial may be, let us ask Jesus for the grace of resignation, of perseverance aganst temptation and for Christian hope.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci



Lenten Journey Day Forty – 30 March – I confess that I am deserving of all scorn and contempt.

Lenten Journey Day Forty – 30 March – Tuesday of Holy Week, Readings: First: Isaiah 49: 1-6, Psalm: Psalms 71: 1-2, 3-4a, 5ab-6ab, 15 and 17, Gospel: John 13: 21-33, 36-38

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)

“The cock will not crow before you deny me three times.” – John 13:38

Truly, my sins have deserved nothing but hell and everlasting damnation.
I confess that I am deserving of all scorn and contempt.

Neither is it fitting that I should be remembered among Your devoted servants. And although it is hard for me to hear this, yet for truth’s sake I will accuse my sins against myself, so that I may more easily deserve to beg Your mercy.
What shall I say, guilty as I am and full of all confusion?
My tongue can say nothing but this alone: “I have sinned, O Lord, I have sinned; have mercy on me and pardon me. Suffer me a little that I may pour out my grief, before I go to that dark land that is covered with the shadow of death.” (Job 10:20-21)

What do you especially demand of a guilty and wretched sinner, except that he be contrite and humble himself for his sins?
In true sorrow and humility of heart, hope of forgiveness is born, the troubled conscience is reconciled, grace is found, man is preserved from the wrath to come and God and the penitent meet with a holy kiss.

To You, O Lord, humble sorrow for sins is an acceptable sacrifice, a sacrifice far sweeter than the perfume of incense. This is also the pleasing ointment which You would have poured upon Your sacred feet, for a contrite and humble heart You will not spurn (Ps 51:19). There is the place of refuge from the wrath of the enemy, there, watever has been defiled, is washed away.
(Book 3 Ch 52:2b-4)


Quote/s of the Day – 30 March – St John Climacus

Quote/s of the Day – 30 March – The Memorial of St John Climacus (c 525-606) Father of the Church

“A servant of the Lord
stands bodily before men
but mentally,
he is knocking at the gates of heaven.
with prayer.”

“Confession is like a bridle
that keeps the soul,
which reflects on it,
from committing sin
but anything left unconfessed,
we continue to do without fear,
as if in the dark.”

St John Climacus (c 525-606)
Father of the Church



One Minute Reflection – 30 March – ‘So Peter wept …’ St Ambrose

One Minute Reflection – 30 March – Tuesday of Holy Week, Readings: First: Isaiah 49: 1-6, Psalm: Psalms 71: 1-2, 3-4a, 5ab-6ab, 15 and 17, Gospel: John 13: 21-33, 36-38

“The cock will not crow before you deny me three times.” – John 13:38

REFLECTION – “The first time Peter denied, he did not weep because the Lord had not looked at him. He denied a second time and did not weep because the Lord still did not look at him. He denied a third time; Jesus looked at him and he wept very bitterly (Lk 22:62). Look at us, Lord Jesus, so that we might know how to weep for our sins. This shows us that even the fall of the saints may be useful to us. Peter’s denial has done me no wrong, on the contrary, I have gained from his repentance – I have learned to be beware of faithless companions. …

So Peter wept and wept bitterly; he wept so hard that he washed away his offence with his tears. And you, too, if you would win pardon, wipe out your guilt with tears. At that very moment, in that same hour, Christ will look at you. If some kind of fall happens to you, then He, the ever-present witness of your intimate life, looks at you to call you back and cause you to confess your lapse. Then do as Peter did, who thrice said: “Lord, you know that I love you” (Jn 21:15). He denied three times and three times he also confessed. But he denied by night; he confessed in broad daylight.

All this has been written, to make us understand, that no-one should be puffed up. If Peter fell for having said: “Though all may have their faith in you shaken, mine will never be” (Mt 26:33), who is there to count on himself? … From whence then, Peter, shall I call you to mind, to teach me your thoughts as you wept? From heaven where you have already taken your place among the choirs of angels, or from the grave? For that death, from which the Lord was raised, did not reject you in your turn. Teach us what use your tears were to you. But you taught it without delay for having fallen before you wept, your tears caused you to be chosen to guide others, you who, to begin with, did not know how to guide yourself.” – St Ambrose (340-397) Bishop of Milan, Father and Doctor of the Church – Commentary on St Luke’s Gospel, 10,89f.

PRAYER – Almighty Father, we are slow to understand. In that love that You have for us and the grace, mercy and forgiveness You grant us. You gave Your only Son to save us from ourselves, help our lowly hearts, that we may understand Your love and in our smallness, offer all of our hearts, minds and souls, back to You in total submission and love. May Your saints and angels, help us on our way by their prayers and may Mary, the Sorrowful Mother of our Saviour, grant us, her heart, to love You in return. We make our prayer through our Saviour, Your Son, Jesus Christ in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God now and forever, amen.


Our Morning Offering – 30 March –Lord, Kindle our Lamps By St Columban

Our Morning Offering – 30 March – Tuesday of Holy Week

Lord, Kindle our Lamps
By St Columban (543-615)

Lord, kindle our lamps,
Saviour most dear to us,
that we may always shine
in Your presence
and always receive light
from You, the Light Perpetual,
so that our own personal darkness,
may be overcome
and the world’s darkness
driven from us.

(This is an excerpt from a much longer prayer and is taken from the wonderful Sermon XII by St Columban)

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 30 March – Blessed Amadeus of Savoy (1435-1472)

Saint of the Day – 30 March – Blessed Amadeus of Savoy (1435-1472) IXth Duke of Savoy, nicknamed “the Happy,” was the Duke of Savoy, from 1465 to 1472, apostle of the poor and ill, a pious, humble and gentle ruler. Born on 1 February 1435 in Thonon-les-Bains, France and died on 30 March 1472 at Vercelli, Italy of natural causes, aged 37. Amadeus was a particular protector of Franciscan Friars and endowed other religious houses, as well as homes for the care of the poor and suffering. Patronage – the Royal House of Piedmont.

Amadeus was the son of Duke Louis I of Savoy. He was born in 1435 in Thonon, Savoy and betrothed as an infant to Princess Yolanda, the daughter of Charles VII of France. They were married in 1451 and Amadeus succeeded his father as Duke of Savoy. They had 10 children, one whom, Blessed Louise of Savoy (1461-1503) , the 5th child, became a nun of the Franciscan Second Order, the Poor Clares, after being widowed at a young age, when her husband, the Prince of Chalon, died when she was 27 years of age. As she had no children, the young widow then determined to follow her calling as a nun, refusing many offers of marriage. She used her vast wealth to meet many needs of the poor and entered the Monastery of the Poor Clare nuns in Orbe, now part of modern Switzerland. In the cloister, she showed herself to be a model of humility and obedience, preserving nothing of her royal origins. Louise died at the age of forty-two. She was Beatified by Pope Gregory XVI in 1839. Her Feast is observed on the date of her death, 24 July.

Duke Amadeus proved to be a wise and fair ruler who strived for peace and was known for his compassion and generosity to the poor. On one occasion when a visiting Ambassador proudly honoured himself to Amadeus by speaking of all the fine hunting dogs that his Monarch possessed, the Duke replied by pointing to a terrace filled with tables, at which the hungry were being fed. “These,” he said, “are my packs and my hunting dogs. It is with the help of these poor people that I chase after virtue and hunt for the kingdom of heaven.”

Duke Amadeus was a lifelong victim of epilepsy. Around 1471, his seizures became so incapacitating, that he entrusted the rule of his Duchy to his wife Yolanda. His subjects became discontented and started a revolution, imprisoning the Duke. Only the intervention of King Louis XI of France, his brother-in-law, secured his release.

Amadeus was also an avid collector of manuscripts, adding over sixty items to the Ducal library started by his great-grandfather, Amadeus VIII.

Duke Amadeus IX of Savoy died on 30 March 1472 at the age of 37.

A painting of Amadeus, (see below) created in 1474, was housed in the Dominican Church in Turin and acquired a miraculous reputation. In 1612 a brief text was published in the same City, by Girolamo Cordieri, Canon of the Cathedral chapter of Mondovi, extolling the holy Amadeus. Cordieri was later appointed theologian to Charles Emmanuel I, Duke of Savoy. Also that year, a Canon from Vercelli published a compendium of miracles attributed to the intercession of Amadeus IX. The cultus and cause of Amadeus, was actively promoted by Charles Emanuel’s son, Prince Maurice of Savoy, Cardinal of VercelLI.

Portrait of Amadeus IX. Fresco in San Domenico, Turin

In 1613, a Vita of Amadeus was composed by Fr Pietro-Francisco Malletta. Six years later, the Duke of Savoy issued nine-florin coins depicting Amadeus IX on one side. These appear to have been used as religious medals, particularly in the Chablais, where they were distributed by St Francis de Sales.

Amadeus IX was Beatified on 3 March 1677 by Pope Innocent XI.

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, MARIAN TITLES, SAINT of the DAY

Notre-Dame de Boulogne-sur-mer / Our Lady, Boulogne-sur-mer and Memorials of the Saints – 30 March

Re-establishment of Chapel of Our Lady, Boulogne-sur-mer, by Bishop Dormy – Basilica of Notre-Dame de Boulogne-sur-mer: – 30 March:

The Basilica of Our Lady of Boulogne, also known as the Basilica of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, is a minor Basilica in Boulogne-Sur-Mer in northern France. The Basilica is a prominent landmark of the city and was built upon the medieval Cathedral of the same name.

It was in the year 633 that an unmanned boat was seen carrying a luminous Statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary into the estuary at Boulogne. Saint Omer, (also known as Audomare) was the Bishop and the Statue was carried to the Church where miracles soon began to occur. This Statue, known as Notre-Dame de la Mer (Our Lady of the Sea) became a popular object of pilgrimage between the 13th and 16th centuries.
In about 1100 a new Church was constructed at the site that underwent many changes over the centuries, including the addition of a choir. It was in this Church that King Edward II was married to Isabella of France.
The Church flourished until the advent of the French Revolution, with its liberal principles that overthrew the Catholic Nonarchy, instigated violence, turmoil and anarchy, destroyed the men who set it in motion and, eventually, culminated not in liberty, fraternity and equality among Frenchmen but instead in a cruel dictatorship under Napoleon.
The Church of Notre-Dame of Boulogne was seized and worship was prohibited. The structure was used as a military warehouse until it was sold to traders from outside the City, who began demolishing the Church in stages. Finally, in 1793, the miraculous Statue of Our Lady of the Sea was burned, leaving only a small portion of the hand. Only the Crypt of the medieval structure survived and this is the longest Crypt in France. (There is a wonderful article regarding the Basilica and especially, the Crypt here: )

A local Priest, Benoit Haffreingue, vowed to rebuild the Cathedral. He was a self-taught architect, with a strong desire to restore the honour of Our Lady of the Sea and return the Bishop to their City. He led a campaign to garner the support he would need for the work and by his enthusiasm, the public rallied to support the project.
Once work was begun, Fr Haffreingue discovered a huge Crypt about 128 meters long. It had been there unknown for centuries, perhaps having been filled in during the time of the siege of Boulogne in 1544 by King Henry VIII of England. The Romanesque style columns were crafted in the 11th century. There were also the foundations of a Roman temple dedicated to Mars and cannonballs used during the 1544 siege. See the Crypt below.
The fact that Fr Haffreingue was self-taught, may be the reason that the nave’s slender arches collapsed in the year 1921. During the time the repairs were being made, the whole structure was reinforced with concrete, which many feel made it possible to survive the bombing the City received, during World War II.

Blessed Amadeus of Savoy (1435-1472) IXth Duke of Savoy
St Clinius of Pontecorvo
St Cronan Mochua
St Damiano
St Domnino of Thessalonica
St Fergus of Downpatrick
St Irene of Rome
Bl Joachim of Fiore
St John Climacus (c 525-606)

St Julio Álvarez Mendoza
St Leonard Murialdo
St Ludovico of Casoria
St Mamertinus of Auxerre
St Marie-Nicolas-Antoine Daveluy MEP (1818-1866) Bishop Martyr
His Life and Death:
Bl Maria Restituta Kafka
St Osburga of Coventry
St Pastor of Orléans
St Patto of Werden
St Quirinus the Jailer
St Regulus of Scotland
St Regulus of Senlis
St Secundus of Asti
St Tola
St Zozimus of Syracuse

Martyrs of Constantinople: ourth-century Christians who were exiled, branded on the forehead, imprisoned, tortured, impoverished and murdered during the multi-year persecutions of the Arian Emperor Constantius. They were martyred between 351 and 359 in Constantinople.

Martyrs of Korea:
Marie-Nicolas-Antoine Daveluy
Iosephus Chang Chu-gi
Lucas Hwang Sok-tu
Martin-Luc Huin
Pierre Aumaître