Thought for the Day – 1 May – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Month of Mary
“This work of eradicating of our faults and replacing them by their opposite virtues, is a difficult task which we cannot carry out on our own. Prayer is necessary if we are to obtan the grace which we need. During Mary’s month, we should beseech our heavenly Mother, with greater earnestness, to obtain for us, from her divine Son, the grace which we need to correct the evil in our nature and to perfect it in goodness.
Mary wants us to pray to her because she wishes to obtain for us, the graces which we require. She loves us very much and is ready to help us to become, like her, living imitations of Jesus, insofar as the weakness of our nature will permit.
Among our other prayers, let us remember to give pride of place to the Holy Rosary, whether we recite it in Church or with the family. Let us include, at least a quarter of an hour meditation; a daily visit, however short, to the Blessed Sacrament and to Our Lady’s Altar; an examination of conscience in the evening and many ejaculatory prayers during the day, which will express our love for Mary and for her divine Son.”
Rejoice! It’s 1 May The Month of the Blessed Virgin Mary
The May Magnificat By Gerard Manley Hopkins SJ (1844-1889)
May is Mary’s month, and I Muse at that and wonder why: Her feasts follow reason, Dated due to season-
Candlemas, Lady Day: But the Lady Month, May, Why fasten that upon her, With a feasting in her honour? Ask of her, the mighty Mother: Her reply puts this other Question: What is Spring? Growth in everything- All things rising, all things sizing Mary sees, sympathising With that world of good, Nature’s motherhood.
Well but there was more than this: Spring’s universal bliss Much, had much to say To offering Mary May.
Quote/s of the Day – 1 May – Saturday of the Fourth Week of Easter, Readings: Acts 13:44-52, Psalm 98:1-4, John 14:7-14
“If you know me, then you will also know my Father. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
“We will follow You, Lord Jesus. But in order for us to follow You, call us,because without You, no-one will ascend towards You. For You are the way, the truth, the life. You are also our help, our trust, our reward. Welcome those who belong to You, You who are the way; strengthen them, You who are the truth; give them life, You who are the life.”
St Ambrose (340-397) Father & Doctor of the Church
“O you sons of men, how long will you be dull of heart? … Behold – daily He humbles Himself as when from heaven’s royal throne He came down into the womb of the Virgin. Daily, He Himself, comes to us with like humility; daily He descends from the bosom of the Father, upon the Altar, in the hands of the Priest.”
One Minute Reflection – 1 May – Saturday of the Fourth Week of Easter, Readings: Acts 13:44-52, Psalm 98:1-4, John 14:7-14
“He who has seen me has seen the Father…”… John 14:9
REFLECTION – “Beloved, Jesus Christ is our salvation, He is the high priest through whom we present our offerings and the helper who supports us in our weakness. Through Him, our gaze penetrates the heights of heaven and we see, as in a mirror, the most holy face of God. Through Christ, the eyes of our hearts are opened and our weak and clouded understanding, reaches up toward the light. Through Him the Lord God willed that we should taste eternal knowledge, for Christ is the radiance of God’s glory and as much greater than the angels as the name God has given Him is superior to theirs. … Think, my brothers, of how we first came into being, of what we were at the first moment of our existence. Think of the dark tomb out of which our Creator brought us into His world, where He had His gifts prepared for us, even before we were born. All this we owe to Him and for everything, we must give Him thanks. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen.” … St Pope Clement of Rome (c 35-99), Apostolic Father, Bishop of Rome and Martyr – An excerpt from his Letter to the Corinthians
PRAYER – Since it is from You God, our Father, that redemption comes to us, Your adopted children, look with favour on the family You love, give us true freedom and to all who believe in Christ and bring us all alike to our eternal heritage. Grant we pray, that by the prayers of Your holy angels and saints, Blessed Giovanni Benincasa and most especially our beloved Virgin Mary, Mother of Christ, we may run this race always in prayer, trusting in Your divine Son’s intercession, to attain the Glory of Your Kingdom and the Light of Your Face. Through Jesus Christ, in the union of the Holy Spirit, God with You, forever and ever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 1 May – “Mary’s Month” and Friday of the Third Week of Easter
Hail, O Mary, Mother of God By St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Father & Doctor of the Church
Hail, O Mary, Mother of God, Virgin and Mother! Morning Star, perfect vessel. Hail, O Mary, Mother of God, Holy Temple in which god Himself was conceived. Hail, O Mary, Mother of God, Chaste and pure dove. Hail, O Mary, Mother of God, Who enclosed the One who cannot be encompassed in your sacred womb. Hail, O Mary, Mother of God, From you flowed the true light, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Hail, O Mary, Mother of God, Through you the Conqueror and triumphant Vanquisher of hell came to us. Hail, O Mary, Mother of God, Through you, the glory of the Resurrection blossoms. Hail, O Mary, Mother of God, You have saved every faithful Christian. Hail, O Mary, Mother of God, Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen
Saint of the Day – 1 May – St Sigismund of Burgundy (Died 524) King and Martyr. King of the Burgundians from 516 until his death, Reforemer, Penitent, apostle of the needy and the poor. Patronages – Czech Republic, Monarchs, Germanic peoples, bibliophiles, Monasteries.
The Roman Martyrology states of him today: “At Siom, i Switzerland, Saint Sigismund, King of the Burgundians, who was drowned in a well and afterwards became renowned for miracles.”
Sigismund succeeded his father Gundobad asKking of the Burgundians in 516. At the time, Burgundy was perhaps the most powerful of all the kingdoms of Gaul – not least because of its strong links with the Byzantine court – and both the Franks and the Ostrogoths were keen to limit Burgundian power.
Sigismund soon established his reputation as a statesman and lawmaker by issuing (in 517) a legal compendium, the Lex Gundobada (more properly known as the Liber Constitutionum). He was equally enthusiastic about reforming the Church and, in the same year, he convened a Council of Burgundiam Bishops with a view to establishing ecclesiastical discipline and dismantling the infrastructure of the Arian Church in Burgundy.
Gundobad had been an Arian, though he seems to have contemplated conversion to Catholicism,and Sigismund converted by 515 – thanks in large part to his association with the Catholic Bishop of Vienne, St Avitus (a poet and man of letters who remained a beacon of classical civilisation in a barbarian world), with whom he maintained a correspondence.
Shortly after his conversion, Sigismund founded the Monastery of St Maurice at Agaune, where he instituted the practice of the laus perennis, according to which (as happened in other royal monasteries in the Germanic world) groups of Monks would chant the psalms in relays in an unceasing round of praise (the sixth century equivalent of perpetual adoration).
In spite of such positive beginnings, Sigismund’s relationship with his Bishops deteriorated. Much more seriously, in 522 his second wife persuaded him that Sigistrix, his son by his deceased first wife, was plotting against him with the intention of killing him and taking control not only of Burgundy but also of Italy.
In a fit of uncontrolled rage, Sigismund had Sigistrix strangled. Once his anger had subsided, he was appalled at the enormity of his crime and retired to St Maurice to do penance, devoting himself to the poor in whose service he distributed part of his wealth.
Whatever he undertook by way of reparation, however, seemed wholly inadequate in view of the horrific nature of the murder of his own son and Sigismund came to believe, that only by suffering some equivalent calamity, could he atone for his sin.
Such a calamity duly occurred when Burgundy was attacked by Chlodomer, the King of Orleans, together with his brothers Childebert and Chlothar (the three brothers were the sons of the Frankish King Clovis whose father had been murdered by Sigismund’s father Gundobad). Sigismund escaped, disguising himself as a monk and hiding in a cell at Agaune, but was captured and taken to Orleans as a prisoner where he was executed (524), by being thrown down a well.
His bones having been recovered, a shrine developed at Agaune and he was soon recognised as a Martyr, though strictly speaking he did not die for his faith, as the motives for his assassination had to do with politics and blood-feuds, rather than with Arian persecution of Catholics.
In fact, he is best remembered not primarily as a Martyr (for all that he endured death in a spirit of faith and courage) but as one of the great penitents – as a man whose profound repentance, culiminating in a death, which at some level he seems to have sought (at least in prayer) by way of atonement for his gravest of crimes, was rightly perceived not only by his contemporaries but also by subsequent generations as a paradigm of a particular kind of Christian sanctity.
His body was kept honourably at Agaune, until it was removed to the Cathedral of Prague by the Emperor Charles IV. His tomb has been venerated for centuries and has been famous for many miracles. He became a Patron of the Czech Republic, see his Statue on Charles Bridge in Prague, below.
Maria Santissima di Giubino, Siciliy / Madonna of Giubino, Sicily (1655) – 1 May:
The Church of the Madonna of Giubino was built in 1721 to house a miraculous marble-relief icon of the Madonna. (A copy of the relief is housed in the Church of St Joseph in Brooklyn, New York, giving testimony to the large emigrant community of Calatafimesi who lived in Brooklyn in the early 20th century). The Church of Maria Santissima di Giubino is dedicated to the Patroness of the Town. It has a single nave, with an elegant barrel vault decorated with frescoes and ornamental motifs. Inside there are some important works – the painting with the Assumption, Our Lady with Angels and Saints dated 1617, the Altarpiece of All Saints, an 18th-century wooden organ and a 15th-century marble alto-rilievo representing Madonna of Giubino with the Infant Jesus. In 1655 an invasion of grasshoppers was destroying all the crops in the countryside of Calatafimi. The people, assembled in a Church, decided that, after putting all the names of the Saints who had an aAtar in Town inside a ballot box, they would choose as a Patron that one whose name had been drawn. After they invoked the Holy Ghost, it was chosen the name of Maria Santissima di Giubino by lots. The central part of the triptych with the image of the Virgin was soon taken out from the wall in the country Church of Giubino and taken in procession: with prayer and Holy Mass and thereafter, Calatafimi was free from grasshoppers.
Maria Santissima di Giubino was elected Patroness of the Town (25 April 1655) and the bas-relief of the Virgin of Giubino was then placed on the high Altar of the new Church, designed by Giovanni Biagio Amico (the same planner of the Church of Santissimo Crocifisso) in 1721. In 1931 the triptych was recomposed in the Town Sanctuary and restored.
St Aceolus of Amiens St Acius of Amiens St Aldebrandus of Fossombrone St Amator of Auxerre St Ambrose of Ferentino St Andeolus of Smyrna Bl Arigius of Gap St Arnold of Hiltensweiler St Asaph of Llanelwy St Augustine Schöffler St Benedict of Szkalka OSB (Died 1012) Monk and Hermit St Bertha of Avenay St Bertha of Kent St Brieuc of Brittany St Ceallach of Killala St Cominus of Catania Evermarus of Rousson Bl Felim O’Hara St Grata of Bergamo St Isidora of Egypt St Jeremiah the Prophet St John-Louis Bonnard Bl Klymentii Sheptytskyi St Marculf St Orentius of Auch St Orentius of Loret St Patientia of Loret