Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, GOOD FRIDAY, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The 5th Sorrowful Mystery - The CRUCIFIXION, The HOLY CROSS, The PASSION, The REDEMPTION

Thought for the Day – 2 April – The Crucifixion

Thought for the Day – 2 April – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Crucifixion

“After a painful and exhausting journey, Jesus reaches Calvary, where He is to be Crucified.
Once again, He is stripped of His garments, which, by this time, have become stuck to His swollen sores.
Then, He is stretched upon the wooden Cross, to which, one of the brutal executioners fastens His Hands and Feet, with blows from a hammer.
The sharp nails are driven through His flesh into the hard wood.
Jesus looks upwards and offers Himself in silence, as a Victim of Expiation, on behalf of His tormentors and of all of us.
His Mother Mary, is standing a few paces away in the company of the holy women and of the beloved Disciple.
The blows of the hammer pierce the maternal heart of the Blessed Virgin but,she remains silent also and prays.

When we have been afflicted by misfortune or sorrow and our hearts are racked with grief, how do we behave?
Have we the resignation, the trust in God and the spirit of prayer, which Jesus and Mary had on Calvary?
Let us remind ourselves, that we are members of the Mystical Body of Christ.
If Jesus our Head, has suffered, how much more, do miserable sinners like the rest of us ,deserve to suffer!?
Jesus wishes us to participate in the work of redemption by uniting our sufferings to His.
“I rejoice now,” says St Paul, “in the suffering I bear … and what is lacking of the suffering of Christ, I fill up in my flesh…” (Col 1:24).

Let us face adversity with courage, therefore and keep our eyes hopefully towards Heaven.
Let us remember, as St Paul also says, that even as we share in the sufferings of Christ, so we shall share in His triumph (Cf 2 Cor 1:7).
Jesus had to ascen Mount Calvary, before He could ascend to Heaven.
If we are to walk in His footsteps, we shall have to do the same.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOOD FRIDAY, JULY - The MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The HOLY CROSS, The MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD, The PASSION, The REDEMPTION

Good Friday Refletion – 2 April – CONTEMPLATING THE LORD’S PASSION

Good Friday Refletion – 2 April

CONTEMPLATING THE LORD’S PASSION

From a Sermon by St Pope Leo the Great (400-461)
Father and Doctor unitatis Ecclesiae

True reverence for the Lord’s passion means, fixing the eyes of our heart on Jesus crucified and recognising in Him our own humanity.

The earth – our earthly nature – should tremble at the suffering of its Redeemer. The rocks – the hearts of unbelievers – should come forth, the massive stones now ripped apart. Foreshadowings of the future Resurrection, should appear in the holy city, the Church of God, what is happening to our bodies, should now take place in our hearts.

No-one, however weak, is denied a share in the victory of the Cross. No-one is beyond the help of the prayer of Christ. His prayer brought benefit to the multitude that raged against Him. How much more, does it bring, to those who turn to Him in repentance.

Ignorance has been destroyed, obstinacy has been overcome. The Sacred Blood of Christ, has quenched the flaming sword that barred access to the tree of life. The age-old night of sin has given place, to the true light.

The Christian people are invited to share the riches of paradise. All who have been reborn have the way open before them, to return to their native land, from which they had been exiled. Unless, indeed ,they close off for themselves, the path that could be opened before the faith of a thief.

The business of this life should not preoccupy us with its anxiety and pride, so that we no longer strive, with all the love of our heart, to be like our Redeemer and to follow His example. Everything that He did, or suffered, was for our salvation – He wanted His Body to share the goodness of its Head.

First of all, in taking our human nature, while remaining God, so that the Word became man, He left no member of the human race, the unbeliever excepted, without a share in His mercy. Who does not share a common nature with Christ, if he has welcomed Christ, who took our nature and is reborn in the Spirit, through whom Christ was conceived?

Again, who cannot recognise in Christ, his own infirmities? Who would not recognise that Christ’s eating and sleeping, His sadness and His shedding tears of love, are marks of the nature of a slave?

It was this nature of a slave, that had to be healed of its ancient wounds and cleansed of the defilement of sin. For that reason, the only-begotten Son of God, became also the Son of Man. He was to have both the reality of human nature and the fullness of the Godhead.

The Body, that lay lifeless in the tomb, is ours. The Body that rose again on the third day, is ours. The Body, that ascended above all the heights of heaven, to the right hand of the Father’s glory, is ours. If then we walk in the way of His commandments and are not ashamed to acknowledge, the price He paid for our salvation in a lowly Body, we too are to rise to share His glory. The promise He made will be fulfilled, in the sight of all: –“whoever acknowledges Me before men, I too will acknowledge him before My Father who is in heaven.”

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, GOOD FRIDAY, HYMNS, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The HOLY CROSS, The PASSION

Quote/s of the Day – 2 April – Good Friday

Quote/s of the Day – 2 April – Good Friday of the Passion of the Lord

“O SACRED HEAD”
By St Bernard (1090-1153)
Mellifluous Doctor

O Sacred Head surrounded
By a crown of piercing thorn!
O bleeding Head, so wounded,
Reviled and put to scorn!
Death’s pallid hue comes o’er Thee,
The glow of life decays,
Yet angel hosts adore Thee
And tremble as they gaze.

I see Thy strength and vigour
All fading in the strife,
And death, with cruel vigour,
Bereaving Thee of life;
O agony and dying!
O love to sinners free!
Jesus, all grace supplying,
O turn Thy face on me!

In this Thy bitter Passion,
Good Shepherd, think of me,
With Thy most sweet compassion,
Unworthy though I be.
Beneath Thy Cross abiding,
‘Forever would I rest,
In Thy dear love confiding,
And will Thy presence blest.

“Do not pass one day without devoting a half hour,
or at least a quarter of an hour,
to meditation on the sorrowful Passion of your Saviour.
Have a continual remembrance
of the agonies of your crucified Love
and know, that the greatest saints,
who now, in heaven,
triumph in holy love,
arrived at perfection in this way.”

St Paul of the Cross (1694-1775)

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, GOOD FRIDAY, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The HOLY CROSS, The PASSION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 2 April – Good Friday – The Precious and Life-giving Cross of Christ

One Minute Reflection – 2 April – Good Friday, Readings: First: Isaiah 52: 13 — 53: 12.salm: Psalms 31: 2, 6, 12-13, 15-16, 17, 25. Second: Hebrews 4: 14-16; 5: 7-9
Gospel: John 18: 1 — 19: 42

“But one of the soldiers with a spear opened his side, and immediately there came out blood and water.”– John 18:34

REFLECTION – “How precious the gift of the Cross, how splendid to contemplate! In the Cross there is no mingling of good and evil, as in the tree of paradise, it is wholly beautiful to behold and good to taste. The fruit of this tree is not death but life, not darkness but light. This tree does not cast us out of paradise but opens the way for our return.

This was the tree upon which, Christ, like a king on a chariot, destroyed the devil, the lord of death and freed the human race from his tyranny. This was the tree upon which the Lord like a brave warrior wounded in hands, feet and side, healed the wounds of sin that the evil serpent had inflicted on our nature. A tree once caused our death but now, a tree brings life. Once deceived by a tree, we have now repelled the cunning serpent, by a tree. What an astonishing transformation! That death should become life, that decay should become immortality, that shame should become glory! Well might the holy Apostle exclaim – Far be it from me to glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me and I to the world! The supreme wisdom that flowered on the Cross has shown the folly of worldly wisdom’s pride. The knowledge of all good, which is the fruit of the Cross, has cut away the shoots of wickedness.

The wonders accomplished through this tree were foreshadowed clearly, even by the mere types and figures that existed in the past. Meditate on these, if you are eager to learn. Was it not the wood of a tree that enabled Noah, at God’s command, to escape the destruction of the flood, together with his sons, his wife, his sons’ wives and every kind of animal? And surely the rod of Moses prefigured the Cross, when it changed water into blood, swallowed up the false serpents of Pharaoh’s magicians, divided the sea at one stroke and then restored the waters to their normal course, drowning the enemy and saving God’s own people? Aaron’s rod, which blossomed in one day, in proof of his true priesthood, was another figure of the Cross and did not Abraham foreshadow the Cross, when he bound his son Isaac and placed him on the pile of wood?

By the Cross, death was slain and Adam was restored to life. The Cross is the glory of all the Apostles, the crown of the Martyrs, the sanctification of the Saints. By the Cross, we put on Christ and cast aside our former self. By the Cross we, the sheep of Christ, have been gathered into one flock, destined for the sheepfold of heaven.” – St Theodore the Studite (759-826) Father, Abbot, Theologian, Writer

PRAYER – Be mindful Lord, of this Your family, for whose sake, our Lord Jesus Christ, when betrayed, did not hesitate to yield Himself into His enemies hands and undergo the agony of the Cross – He Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever, amen.

Posted in HOLY WEEK, LENTEN PRAYERS & NOVENAS, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, St JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN!, The PASSION

Our Morning Offering – 2 April – The Angel of the Agony

Our Morning Offering – 2 April – Good Friday of the Passion of the Lord

The Angel of the Agony
St John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

Jesu! by that shuddering dread which fell on Thee;
Jesu! by that cold dismay which sicken’d Thee;
Jesu! by that pang of heart which thrill’d in Thee;
Jesu! by that mount of sins which crippled Thee;
Jesu! by that sense of guilt which stifled Thee;
Jesu! by that innocence that girded Thee;
Jesu! by that sanctity that reign’d in Thee;
Jesu! by that Godhead which was one with Thee;
Jesu! spare those souls which are so dear to Thee;
Who in prison, calm and patient, wait for Thee;
Hasten, Lord, their hour and bid them come to Thee;
To that glorious Home, where they shall ever gaze on Thee.
Amen

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 2 April – Saint Urban of Langres (c 327-c 390)

Saint of the Day – 2 April – Saint Urban of Langres (c 327-c 390) Bishop, the sixth Bishop of Autun and Langres, in Burgundy, France from 374 until his death, Confessor. Saint Leodegaria was his sister. Patronages – Langres, Dijon, vine-growers, vine-dressers, gardeners, vintners, invoked against blight, frost, storms, alcoholism and faintness. Additional Memorial – 23 January in Langres, France.

Urban was Bishop of the See of Autun and Langres during a time of political upheaval. At one point, he fell foul of the local Duke, an unpleasant man by the name of Junius Medellius. Urban found support from a patron of his, named Maceratius, who owned a vineyard and he was able to hide among the vines. The vine-dressers in the area concealed him and he took the opportunity to convert them to Christianity. Those same vine-dressers then helped him in his covert ministry, as he moved from one town to another via their vineyards.

There is a legend told that, on one sunny morning, some soldiers had been tracking the movements of Urban’s followers and they narrowed his position down to a specific row of vines. By the time they had decided to apprehend him, a wind picked up and would not subside. The soldiers took a few steps but heavy rain began falling and they could not get close to Urban for a massive hailstorm descended upon them, denting their armour and sending them iscurrying into retreat and back to their camp. So it was, that Urban survived his own storm, coming out of hiding and eventually becoming the Patron saint of wine amd against storms.

Due to St Urban’s work and to his devotion to the Holy Blood, he developed a great affection for all the people in the wine industry and they for him. Urban is thus the Patron saint of all those who work in the wine industry and is invoked against blight and alcoholism.

The cult of St Urban of Langres spread rapidly, especially among in wine growing areas. The German vineyard owners seemed to have adopted him as their own. His cult was closely associated with the weather too. Several old German sayings reflect this:

The weather on St Urban’s Day, will indicate what the autumn weather will be.

If there is sunshine on St Urban’s Day,the wine thrives afterwards, they say.

O holy Urban, bring us comfort! Give us this year much noble must.

What the weather is like on St Urban’s day, orders the same for 20 days.

Posted in MARIAN TITLES, MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Good Friday of the Passion of the Lord +2021, Nuestra Señora de la Altagracia / Our Lady of the Highest Grace (1506) and Memorials of the Saints – 2 April

Good Friday of the Passion of the Lord +2021

Nuestra Señora de la Altagracia / Our Lady of the Highest Grace, Higuey, Dominican Republic (1506) Patron of Dominicans- 2 April:

Before the Spaniards began their conquest of America, pilgrimages were already being made to the Shrine of Our Lady of the Highest Grace of Altagracia, in the town of Higuey in the Dominican Republic.
Juan Ponce de Leon relates that he and his crew were saved from shipwreck through their prayers to this Virgin. Mary’s miracles have continued down to the present. A multimillion dollar ultra-modern Basilica erected at Higuey in Mary’s honour, where the image is still displayed, gives testimony of this.


Juan Ponce de Leon’s daughter, La Nina, also had a great devotion to the Mother of God. Our Lady appeared to Nina while she prayed before the Statue in their home Chapel and told her to request from her father a gift, a painting of Our Lady of Highest Grace. Juan Ponce de Leon was struck with amazement at the request, for he had never heard of Our Lady under that title. Juan Ponce de Leon, told his host of his daughter’s wish and added that the Bishop of Domingo had told him no such painting existed.

He asked Nina, “How could I identify this image?”

“By the white scapular over her robe,” Nina replied.

Juan Ponce de Leon searched and inquired everywhere, in order to fulfill his daughter’s request but without success. One day, while returning from a three-day trip, he asked for lodging at a small hut; his host granted this at the same time to an old man with a long white beard; the latter crouched against the walls, carefully guarding an apparent treasure in his saddle-bags.

Juan Ponce de Leon, forgetting the old man, told his host of his daughter’s wish and added that the Bishop of Domingo had told him no such painting existed. The old man hearing this, exclaimed, “The Virgin of Highest Grace does not exist? I have brought the painting with me.”

He then took from his saddle-bags a parchment, unrolled it and displayed a beautiful painting of Our Lady in simple tones of blue, white and red. Mary was depicted adoring the Christ Child, while Saint Joseph holding a lighted taper hovered in the background. Over the Virgin’s starred blue robe hung a white scapular. Juan Ponce de Leon offered all he possessed in exchange for the painting but the stranger waved aside the offer, saying, “Take it to La Nina.”
The two men fell on their knees to give homage to the holy image. When they again looked up, the old bearded stranger had vanished. When Ponce de Leon arrived home, his daughter awaited him under an orange tree in the plaza, stretching out her hands she begged:
“The painting, Papacito! Please, let me see it!”
When it had been unwrapped, La Nina fell on her knees, covering Our Lady’s face with kisses. Then she cried:
“This is exactly how our Mother of Highest Graces appeared to me!”

The painting of Our Lady of Highest Grace was placed in the Chapel where the townspeople came to venerate it. Not long afterward, La Nina died and was buried beneath the orange tree, which she loved, for it was there she had received the image.
Later the painting of Our Lady of Highest Grace disappeared from the Chapel and was found in the branches of the orange tree. After this had happened three times, the people were convinced that Our Lady wished a Shrine erected on the spot. Countless miracles began to occur there.

Juan Ponce de León’s residence continues to stand in the southeastern town of San Rafael de Yuma, close to Higüey, where he lived before heading out into the seas. Today, it is a much visited Museum.

Houseof Juan Ponce de Leon

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St Francis of Paola O.M. (1416-1507) (Optional Memorial)
St Francis’s Life:

https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/04/02/saint-of-the-day-2-april-st-francis-of-paola-o-m-1416-1507/

St Abundius of Como
St Agnofleda of Maine
St Appian of Caesarea
St Bronach of Glen-Seichis
St Constantine of Scotland
St Ðaminh Tuoc
Bl Diego Luis de San Vitores-Alonso
St Ebbe the Younger
St Eustace of Luxeuil
St Gregory of Nicomedia
St John Payne
Bl Leopold of Gaiche
St Lonochilus of Maine
St Musa of Rome
Bl Mykolai Charnetsky
St Nicetius of Lyon
St Pedro Calungsod (1654–1672) Martyr
His Life and Death:

https://anastpaul.com/2019/04/02/saint-of-the-day-2-april-st-pedro-calungsod-1654-1672-martyr/

St Rufus of Glendalough
St Theodora of Tiria
St Urban of Langres (c 327-c 390) Bishop
St Victor of Capua
Blessed Vilmos Apor (1892–1945) Bishop Martyr
Blessed Vilnos’ Life and Death:

https://anastpaul.com/2020/04/02/saint-of-the-day-2-april-blessed-vilmos-apor-1892-1945-bishop-martyr/