Thought for the Day – 3 May – The Imitation of Mary

Thought for the Day – 3 May – “Mary’s Month – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Imitation of Mary

“At first sight, it seems a very difficult matter, to imitate Mary.
More than any other creature, she reached the highest peak of perfection.
But, if we examine the nature of her outstanding sanctity, it will seem easier to imitate her.

According to the masters of spiritual life, there are three kinds of holiness.
First, there is extraordinary sanctity, which abounds in miracles and ecstasies. such as that of St Francis, St Aloysius Gonzaga, St Mary Magdalen dei Pazzi, St Catherine of Siena and many others.
Secondly, there is ordinary holiness, where perfection is achieved without being manifested in miracles or in ecstasies.
Thirdly, there is hidden sanctity, a relationship entirely between the soul and God, which consists in the faithful and loving fulfilment of Hs holy Will.
It is unnoticed by men but one day, it will shine forth in the sight of God and the human race.

The holiness of Mary, falls into the latter two categories, for hers was a hidden sanctity, to outward appearances, quite ordinary.
We read nothing of her having been in ecstasy or having performed miracles.
We do read, however, that she did God’s Will on all occasions; that she lived an obscure life of humility and love; that she followed Jesus, as far as Calvary, along the sorrowful road of the Cross; that she loved Him above everything else and, that she lived for Him alone.

It is not too difficult to imitate Mary.
With her protection and with the grace of God, it can become almost easy.
All we need, is a firm resolution to accomplish the Will of God in all things, a great love for Jesus, which will make Him the object of all our actions and, a spirit of prayer, which will keep us close to God, in every kind of circumstance.

Antonio Cardinal Bacci



Quote/s of the Day – 3 May – “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.” – John 14:9

Quote/s of the Day – 3 May – “Mary’s Month” – Monday of the Fifth Week of Easter, Readings: First: First Corinthians 15: 1-8; Psalm: Psalms 19: 2-3, 4-5; Gospel: John 14: 6-14 and the Feast of Sts Philip and James Apostles and Martyrs

“Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.”

John 14:9

“I am in my Father
and you in me
and I in you.”

John 14:20

“It is no advantage
to be near the light,
if the eyes are closed.”

“Faith is to believe
what you do not see.
The reward of this faith,
is to see what you believe.”

St Augustine (354-430)
Father and Doctor of Grace

Posted in CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, SAINT of the DAY, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS, The HOLY TRINITY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 3 May – ‘Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. ‘ – John 14:9

One Minute Reflection – 3 May – “Mary’s Month” – Monday of the Fifth Week of Easter, Readings: First: First Corinthians 15: 1-8; Psalm: Psalms 19: 2-3, 4-5; Gospel: John 14: 6-14 and the Feast of Sts Philip and James Apostles and Martyrs

“Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you for so long a time and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? …” -John 14:9

REFLECTION – “In the Church, I know of only one image, that is, the image of the unseen God. God has said about this image, “Let us make man [humankind] in our image.” Of this image it is written that Christ is the “effulgence of the glory and impress of His hypostasis.” In that image, I perceive the Father, as the Lord Jesus Himself has said, “The one who has seen me has seen the Father.” For this image is not separated from the Father, which indeed, has taught me the unity of the Trinity, saying, “I and the Father are one” and again, “All things whatever the Father has are mine.” [In this image, also perceive] the Holy Spirit, seeing that the Spirit is Christ’s and has received of Christ, as it is written, “He shall receive of mine and shall announce it to you.” – St Ambrose (340-397) Bishop of Milan, Father and one of the original four Doctors of the Latin Church( – Sermon Against Auxentius, 32)

PRAYER – Lord God, each year You grant us the blessing of celebrating with joy, the feast day of Your Apostles and Martyrs Saints Philip and James. Make us partners with them by their prayers, in the Passion and Resurrection of Your only-begotten Son, so that we may come, with them, to the eternal vision of Your glory. We make our prayer through Jesus Christ, our Lord in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God now and forever, amen.

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARY'S MONTH, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS

Our Morning Offering – 3 May – Mary, Mother of Grace

Our Morning Offering – 3 May – “Mary’s Month” – Monday of the Fifth Week of Easter

Mary, Mother of Grace
St Athanasius (297-373)
Father & Doctor

(whose Feast we celebrated yesterday, 2 May)

It becomes you to be mindful of us,
as you stand near Him who granted you all graces,
for you are the Mother of God and our Queen.
Help us for the sake of the King,
the Lord God and Master, Who was born of you.
For this reason,
you are called full of grace.
Remember us, most holy Virgin,
and bestow on us gifts
from the riches of your graces,
Virgin full of graces.

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 3 May – Saint Ansfrid of Utrecht (c 940-1010)

Saint of the Day – 3 May – Saint Ansfrid of Utrecht (c 940-1010) Bishop, Count of Huy and the sword-bearer and Knight for Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor. He became Bishop of Utrecht in 995. He appears to have been the son or grandson of Lambert, a nobleman of the Maasgau, the area where he later founded the Abbeys of Thorn and Heiligenberg and to have been related to various important contemporaries including the royal family. Born in c 940 in the Brabant region of the Netherlands and died on 3 May 1010 in Amersfoort, Netherlands of natural causes. Patronage – Amersfoort. He is also known as Ansfridus, Ansfried, Ansfrido.

The young Knight St Ansfrid in the Abbey Church of Heiligenberg

The principal source of information regarding Ansfrid is the De diversitatem temporum by the Benedictine Albert of Metz, written around 1022.

Ansfrid had the same name as a paternal uncle, Ansfrid the elder, a Count who held 15 counties. The young Ansfrid studied secular and clerical subjects under another paternal uncle, Robert, Archbishop of Trier, before attending the Cathedral school at Cologne.

In 961, Otto I took Ansfrid into his personal service and made him his swordbearer. When Otto was in Rome the following year to be crowned Holy Roman Emperor, he directed Ansfrid to keep close at hand ,with the sword as a precaution against any unforeseen eventualities.

Because of his Christian commitment, he was highly respected and an important Knight of the Emperor’s circle, holding rich possessions along the Meuse, in Brabant and Gelderland. Possibly all or some of his counties were inherited from his paternal uncle of the same name. As Count, he had considerable success in suppressing piracy and armed robbery. In 985, Otto III granted Ansfrid the right to mint coins at Medemblik, on the north-south shipping route through the Vlie, as well as, the income from tolls and tax collecting.

He was married to Heresuint or Hilsondis. They had one child, Benedicta. He founded a Romanesque Abbey Church on his wife’s estate at Thorn under the patronage of St Michael. The Abbey itself had a double cloister that housed both man and women religious. Ansfrid planned it as a place of retirement for himself and his family after he left public service. His wife was to be the first Abbess but she died on her way there and Benedicta, their daughter, took her place.

sT Ansfrid and Hilsondis. Stained glass windows in the Abbey of Thorn

After his wife’s death, Ansfrid desired to retire and become a Monk. However, in 995, Emperor Otto III and Bishop Notker of Liège persuaded the reluctant Ansfrid to assume the then vacant Aee of Utrecht. Ansfrid objected that as he had borne weapons as a Knight, he was unworthy of the office but the Emperor prevailed. The elderly Count laid down his sword on the Altar of St Mary in Aachen and was Ordained Priest and Consecratedas the eighteenth Bishop of Utrecht, in the same ceremony. Bishop Ansfrid never took a commission in the royal army, in contrast to Notger and the Bishop of Cologne.

In 1006 Bishop Ansfrid founded the Abbey of Heiligenberg, also under the patronage of St Michael. Toward the end of his life he became increasingly weakened through fasting and retired there as a Monk, caring for the sick, although almost blind himself.

Upon his death, during the funeral, the faithful of Heiligenberg took possession of his body, while the people of Utrecht were extinguishing a not coincidental fire. The Abbess of Thorn mediated and Ansfrid was buried in the Cathedral of Saint Martin in Utrecht.

St Ansfrid, fine bronze of the fountain “Li bassinia” in Huy

The Feast of the Finding of the Holy Cross, Feast St James and St Philip, Apostles of Christ, Virgen de la Carrasca, Bordón, Teruel, Aragón, Spain (1212) and Memorials of the Saints – 3 May


St James the Lesser Apostle (Feast)
St Philip the Apostle (Feast)
Sts James and Philip:

Virgen de la Carrasca, Bordón, Teruel, Aragón, Spain (1212) 3 May:

Commemorated on First Monday of May

In 1212, a herder found an image of the Virgin in a holm oak (carrasca) in the rocky countryside of Aragón in Spaon. There are several stories about what happened then, all of them ending with a Shrine in Bordón. Templars carried the Statue to Castellote, 12 miles north but the next day the image was back in the oak, the Virgin made those carrying her to Castellote keep turning toward Bordón and springs arose at each turn.

Original Statue

In the place where it was found, a hermitage was built to house it, which would later be replaced by the building that today is the Parish Church of Bordón, built in 1306 by the Templar Order (The Order was dissolved by Pope Clement V in 1312 ).

Although its exterior hardly stands out, its interior is magical and fascinating, a place full of mystery. In one of the Chapels inside, the Templar novices who previously made a pilgrimage on foot from Castellote, capital of the Templar Commandery, performed initiation rites to become Knights of the Order.

In the 18th century, the interior of the Church was covered with marvellous frescoes, which have been recently restored. Unfortunately, the venerated carving of the Black Virgin of the Carrasca was lost during the Civil War, along with another very famous Romanesque carving with a reputation for miraculously calming storms, the Virgin of the Spider, only a series of photographs being preserved, which allowed the making a replica.

Replica Statue

On the first Monday in May, the faithful from the three towns to the south—Tronchón, Olocau del Rey and Mirambel—conduct a processional pilgrimage to the Virgin de la Carrasca. They have done this “from time immemorial,” according to a document of 1390 in the Parish archives of Tronchón.

St Adalsindis of Bèze
Bl Adam of Cantalupo in Sabina
St Ahmed the Calligrapher
St Aldwine of Peartney
St Pope Alexander I
St Alexander of Constantinople
Bl Alexander of Foigny
St Alexander of Rome
Bl Alexander Vincioli
St Ansfrid of Utrecht (c 940-1010) Bishop
St Antonina of Constantinople
St Diodorus the Deacon

Blessed Edoardo Giuseppe Rosaz TOSF (1877-1903) Bishop of Susa from 1877 until his death, Founder of Franciscan Mission Sisters of Susa, Third Order Franciscan.
His Life:

St Ethelwin of Lindsey
St Eventius of Rome
St Fumac
St Gabriel Gowdel
St Juvenal of Narni
Bl Maria Leonia Paradis
St Maura of Antinoe
St Peter of Argos
St Philip of Zell
Bl Ramon Oromí Sullà
St Rhodopianus the Deacon
St Scannal of Cell-Coleraine
Bl Sostenaeus

St Stanislas Kazimierczyk CRL (1433–1489)
His Life:

St Theodolus of Rome
St Timothy of Antinoe
Bl Uguccio
Bl Zechariah