Thought for the Day – 10 April – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Word and Example
“Good example is the most effective sermon and we are all obliged to preach in this fashion. God entrusted the care of his neighbour to each one of us (Ecclus 17:12). Each of us is responsible for the salvation of those who have been entrusted to him in this way, especially for the salvation of those who live near him and are influenced by his behaviour. Jesus’ exhortations in this regard, have the force of a command. “Let your light shine before men,” He says, “in order that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven” (Mt 5:16). St Paul urges us to “provide good things, not only in the sight of God but also, in the sight of all men” (Cf Rom 12:17). This must not be interpreted as meaning, that we should be anxious for others to see our good deeds, in order that they may respect and praise us. It is our own undoing if our good example is tainted with ostentation, for we should lose all merit for it and should deserve to hear the words of the Eternal Judge: “You have received your reward” (Cf Mt 6:5). Our good example should be inspired only by the love of God and of our neighbour but never, by self-love. By saving the souls of others, we save our own!”
Quote/s of the Day – 10 April – Easter Saturday, Readings: First: Acts 4: 13-21, Psalm: Psalms 118: 1 and 14-15ab, 16-18, 19-21, Gospel: Mark 16: 9-15
“Preach the gospel to every creature”
“I send you a very little word, THE WORD, made little in the crib, THE WORD, made flesh for us …. THE WORD, of salvation and grace THE WORD, of sweetness and glory THE WORD Who is good and gentle – JESUS CHRIST!”
“There are two ways of keeping God’s word, namely, one, whereby we store in our memory what we hear and the other, whereby we put into practice, what we have heard (and none will deny that the latter is more commendable, inasmuch, as it is better to sow grain, than to store it in the barn).”
One Minute Reflection – 10 April – Easter Saturday, Readings: First: Acts 4: 13-21, Psalm: Psalms 118: 1 and 14-15ab, 16-18, 19-21, Gospel: Mark 16: 9-15 *First Reading and Gospel in full below
“Preach the gospel to every creature” – Mark 16:15
REFLECTION – “You have heard what the Lord said to His disciples after the Resurrection. He sent them out to preach the Gospel and they did so. Listen: “Through all the earth their voice resounds and to the ends of the world, their message” (Ps 18,5). Step by step, the Gospel has reached even to us and the ends of the earth. In a few words the Lord, addressing Himself to His disciples, set out what we are to do and what we have to hope for. Just as you have heard, He said: “Whoever believes and is baptised will be saved.” He asks for our faith and offers us salvation. What He offers us, is so precious, that what He asks of us, is as nothing.
“The children of men take refuge in the shadow of your wings, O my God… from your delightful stream You give them to drink, for with you is the fountain of life” (Ps 35,8f.). Jesus Christ is the Fountain of Life. Before the Gountain of Life came to us, we had only a human salvation, like that of the beasts of which the psalm speaks: “Man and beast you save, O Lord” (Ps 35,7). But now, the Fountain of Life has come even to us, the Fountain of Life died for our sakes. Will He refuse us His life Who, for our sakes, gave His death? He is salvation and this salvation is not worthless, like the other one. Why? Because it does not pass away. The Lord has come. He died, but He killed death. In Himself, He brought an end to death. He assumed it and He killed it. Where is death now, then? Look for it in Christ and it is no longer there. It used to be there but there it died. O life, death of death! Take heart, it will also die in us. What was fulfilled in the Head, will also be fulfilled in the members and death will die in us, too.” – St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of the Church – Sermon 233
PRAYER – Lord our God, You increase and multiply Your faithful by Your abundant gift of grace. Look now on Your chosen people and clothe them forever in the garment of eternal life. May we, in confident love of You, go forth and live our lives in witness and speaking with joy of the ways of truth. Grant that the intercession of the Blessed Virgin, the Saints and Angels, may accompany us on our journey. Through our Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.
Acts 4: 13-21 13 Now seeing the constancy of Peter and of John, understanding that they were illiterate and ignorant men, they wondered and they knew them that they had been with Jesus. 14 Seeing the man also who had been healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it. 15 But they commanded them to go aside out of the council; and they conferred among themselves, 16 Saying: What shall we do to these men? for indeed a known miracle hath been done by them, to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem: it is manifest and we cannot deny it. 17 But that it may be no farther spread among the people, let us threaten them that they speak no more in this name to any man. 18 And calling them, they charged them not to speak at all, nor teach in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John answering, said to them: If it be just in the sight of God, to hear you rather than God, judge ye. 20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard. 21 But they threatening, sent them away, not finding how they might punish them, because of the people; for all men glorified what had been done, in that which had come to pass.
Gospel: Mark 16: 9-15 9 But he rising early the first day of the week, appeared first to Mary Magdalen, out of whom he had cast seven devils. 10 She went and told them that had been with him, who were mourning and weeping. 11 And they hearing that he was alive and had been seen by her, did not believe. 12 And after that he appeared in another shape to two of them walking, as they were going into the country. 13 And they going, told it to the rest: neither did they believe them. 14 At length he appeared to the eleven as they were at table and he upbraided them with their incredulity and hardness of heart because they did not believe them, who had seen him after he was risen again. 15 And he said to them: Go ye into the whole world and preach the gospel to every creature.
Mother of Christ, Mother of Christ, What shall I ask of thee? I do not sigh for the wealth of earth For the joys that fade and flee, But, Mother of Christ, Mother of Christ, This do I long to see — The bliss untold which thy arms enfold, The Treasure upon thy knee.
Mother of Christ, Mother of Christ, He was All-in-All to thee, In the winter’s cave, in Nazareth’s home, In the hamlets of Galilee, So, Mother of Christ, Mother of Christ, He will not say nay to thee, When He lifts His Face to thy sweet embrace, Speak to Him, Mother, of me.
Mother of Christ, Mother of Christ, The world will bid Him flee, Too busy to heed His gentle voice, Too blind His charms to see, Then, Mother of Christ, Mother of Christ, Come with thy Babe to me, Tho’ the world be cold, my heart shall hold A shelter for Him and thee.
Mother of Christ, Mother of Christ, What shall I do for thee? I will love thy Son with the whole of my strength, My only King shall He be. Yes! Mother of Christ, Mother of Christ, This will I do for thee, Of all that are dear or cherished here, None shall be dear as He.
Mother of Christ, Mother of Christ, I toss on a stormy sea, O lift thy Child as a Beacon Light, To the Port where I fain would be! And, Mother of Christ, Mother of Christ, This do I ask of thee — When the voyage is o’er, oh! stand on the shore And show Him at last to me.
The author is unclear – The 1920 St Gregory Hymn book (editor Nicola A. Montani) credits it to Nicola A Montani. The 1914 American Catholic hymn book credits it to “S. N. D. ” – most likely meaning a Sister of Notre Dame.
Saint of the Day – 10 April – Saint Macarius of Ghent (Died 1012) Archbishop of Constantinople, Pilgrim and Hermit (without a cell), apostle of the sick and the needy, miracle-worker. Born in Antioch, Pisidia and died in 1012 at Monastery of Saint Bavo, Ghent, Belgium. of the plague. Patronages – against plague, Andorra, Ghent, Belgium. Also known as Macarius of Antioch, Macarius of Armenia, Macaire, Macario. The Roman Martyrology states: “St Macarius, Bishop of Antioch, celebrated for his great virtues and miracles.”
Macarius was born in Asia Minor (modern day Turkey), where all indications show, that he received a healthy and normal education. He seems to have discovered his vocation to the Priesthood early on. He was then Consecrated as a Bishop and eventually succeeded to the Archbishop of Antioch, the most important and honoured episcopal see in the Byzantine Empire (this was still a few decades before the schism between the Catholic and Orthodox churches). Imagine how gratifying it must have been to achieve such a level of influence and to have such a great opportunity to assist in the pastoral care of the Church of Christ.
After serving his flock for a time and doing so effectively, it seems, he stepped down from the Archbishop’s throne. He simply retired. He became a pilgrim and spent the rest of his life travelling prayerfully from Shrine to Shrine and Monastery to Monastery, cring for the needs of the poor and sick and working miracles as he went. At one point he was captured by the Saracens but escaped and continued his pilgrimage.
He went west, from Byzantium into Europe. Wherever he stopped, he edified the people greatly but only because of his humility and charity. Finally, having been welcomed into a Benedictine community in Ghent, Belgium, he spent his last years in assisting the needy and sick. During a time of great suffering when the plague descended upon the area, St Macarius went out into the streets, assisting the sick and the dying and administering the Sacraments. He caught the plague and died. He was buried there, and venerated almost immediately as a saint.
Admittedly, we don’t really know too much about St Macarius but we do know that he was a holy, humble and gentle man of great charity and virtues., He had the courage to decline the honours of his position in order to give his heart more fully to what it was truly made for – God.
Easter Saturday – The Seventh Day in the Easter Octave +2021
Nuestra Señora de la Naval / Our Lady of Naval, Manila (1646) – 10 April:
The Statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, that is so dearly loved by the Filipino people, is known as Our Lady of Naval. A large statue, she stands 1,5 metres high and is carved of hardwood, although the faces and hands of the Madonna and Child, are of ivory. Our Lady holds a scepter and a golden Rosary and both Mother and Child, are clothed in exquisite gold, a dress and mantle that are heavily embroidered with golden thread. The lovely Statue was sculpted by a man who was neither Filipino nor a Catholic, and was commissioned in 1593 by the Spanish Governor of the Philippines. The Chinese artist who gave the Virgin somewhat Asian features, was well compensated for his efforts, including being converted to the True Faith through the intercession of the Blessed Mother.
“Fair and comely art thou, terrible as an army set in battle array,” Holy Mother Church chants in her Office and truly, Mary proved herself such, in the battle of “La Naval,” (or Laval), in 1646. It was while the Spanish still governed the islands that they learned that a fleet of five Dutch war ships were sailing for Manila. The Dutch, bent on foraging and possible conquest, sailed their warships dangerously close to the shores of the Philippine Islands. To both the Filipinos, recently converted to the Catholic faith and the Spanish Conquistadores, devoid of sufficient arms and without warships, an invasion for the purpose of pillage or conquest, was a serious threat. The Dutch were Protestants, hating Catholics and there were no Spanish galleons in the area to defend the islands. There were only two cargo ships, large enough to carry cannon and poorly equipped with a few cannons, they were certainly nothing like the famous Spanish galleons with several banks of big guns. Still, they were all that was available to preserve their faith and their homeland, so they were made ready for battle as best as possible. The cargo ships were rechristened “La Rosario,” (The Rosary), and “La Encarnacion,” (The Incarnation), and placed under the special patronage of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary. On the Altars built on deck, the sailors carried the image of their beloved Queen and there, on their knees, officers and crew prayed the Rosary daily and dedicated themselves to La Naval, Our Lady of the Holy Rosary. The five Dutch warships were well-equipped with cannons, firearms and mariners but when they encountered the two Spanish cargo ships sailing directly for them, they all inexplicably fled from the area in haste. The Spanish and Filipino defenders sailed home in glory, praising Our Lady for her protection. For the next several months, the two cargo ships patrolled the waters to protect their islands. On one day in July, they were alarmed to discover they had been trapped in a narrow strait by seven Dutch warships. The Dutch did not close the distance to attack, so the men on the cargo ships waited and vowed, that if they were victorious in the coming battle, they would all go on pilgrimage barefoot to the Church of Santo Domingo to thank Our Lady of the Rosary. Through the intercession of Our Lady of La Naval, the Dutch ships left the area and turned toward Manila without even so much as having fired on them. The two cargo ships gave chase, and once again, the Dutch retreated in disgrace. As soon as the victors arrived home, they gratefully fulfilled their vows and went on pilgrimage. After the third encounter with the Dutch fleet, the people of Manila began to call the cargo ships “the galleons of the miracle” and a fourth confrontation and victory seemed to confirm the name. Yet it was not to be so easy, for the Dutch had prepared a fleet of fifteen warships. This time, with overwhelming numbers, they were determined to attack and restore their honour and pride. Resolved to fight and defeat their enemy at any cost, they were lucky enough to come upon the two cargo ships while they lay at anchor. With the wind against them, they would be unable to move. The crews of the cargo ships were casting off and still preparing for battle as the Dutch sailed down upon them, having every advantage. Standing their ground, the Spanish and Filipino sailors fearlessly answered the enemy fire as cannonballs landed at their feet shattering the deck or slammed into the great beams that held their bulky ships together. The smoke from their return fire caused their eyes to water and clouded their vision. Hail Mary’s mingled with the roar of battle; the Rosary beads dangling from the necks of the men as they whole-heartedly launched into the fray. Firing and praying incessantly as the day wore on, they bore the repeated volleys of the enemy and answered back with accurate fire that repelled the closest warships, while others retreated afire and heavily trailing smoke. When the battle finally ended, the Dutch were once again put to flight and only fifteen of the Filipino-Spanish forces were killed. The two meager cargo ships, unable to move, had fought and defeated the enemy, so badly, that they limped away, never to return.
This naval victory at Manila is similar in many respects to the great naval victory at Lepanto, which was also credited to the intervention of Our Lady and the power of her Holy Rosary. In both instances, Our Lady miraculously defended and granted victory to the seamen who placed their trust in her. Grateful to their heavenly protectress, Our Lady of Naval, the men fulfilled their vows after the battle, which consisted in going to the Church of Santo Domingo at Manila barefoot and instituting a public and perpetual feast in honour of the Mother of God. Even to this day that promise has been fulfilled by the Filipinos, who since that memorable time, have taken as their own, that pledge made by their heroic ancestors.
On 9 April 1662, the Cathedral chapter of the Archdiocese of Manila, declared the naval victory a miraculous event owed to the intercession of the Virgin Mary, declaring:
Granted by the Sovereign Lord through the intercession of the Most Holy Virgin and devotion to her Rosary, that the miracles be celebrated, preached and held in festivities and to be recounted amongst the miracles wrought by the Lady of the Rosary, for the greater devotion of the faithful to Our Most Blessed Virgin Mary and Her Holy Rosary.
Saint Pope Pius X granted the Statue a Canonical Coronation in 1907 and the Philippine government has designated, Our Lady of Naval as a National Treasure.
The Church of Santo Domingo was damaged several times by fire and earthquakes and was finally destroyed by bombs in 1941, yet, the Statue has never been damaged! Our Lady of La Naval is presently treasured by the Filipino people, in the new Santo Domingo Church in Quezon City, a few miles from Manila.
St Malchus of Waterford Bl Marco Mattia Bl Mark Fantucci St Miguel de Sanctis O.SS.T (1591-1625) About St Miguel: https://anastpaul.com/2020/04/10/saint-of-the-day-10-april-st-miguel-de-sanctis-o-ss-t-1591-1625/ St Palladius of Auxerre St Paternus the Scot — Martyrs of Carthage – 50 saints: A group of 50 Christians who were imprisoned in a pen of snakes and scorpions, and then martyred, all during the persecutions of Decius. Only six of their names have come down to us – Africanus, Alessandro, Massimo, Pompeius, Terence and Teodoro. Beheaded in 250 at Carthage.
Martyrs of Georgia: Approximately 6,000 Christian monks and lay people martyred in Georgia in 1616 for their faith by a Muslim army led by Shah Abbas I of Persia.
Martyrs of Ostia: A group of criminals who were brought to the faith by Pope Saint Alexander I while he was in prison with them. Drowned by being taken off shore from Ostia, Italy, in a boat which was then scuttled, c 115.