Wishing all Mothers a Blessed and Happy Mothers’ Day May Mary, the Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ and our Mother, be a guide and a comfort to us all.
Mother’s Day Prayer Hail Mary, Mother of God Intercessions from 1727 the Liturgical Order of Blessing
Hail Mary, Mother of God and our Mother, pray for all mothers, so that they will be able to fulfil their maternal responsibilities. Help them to be lovers and nurturers of all human life from the moment of conception until natural death, all the while, being examples for their own children. Pray for their children, so that they, too, will be faithful followers of your Son. We pray for our mothers, who have given us life and love, that we may show them reverence and love. We pray for mothers, who have lost a child through death, that their faith may give them hope and their family and friend, support and console them. We pray for mothers who have died, that God may bring them into the joy of His kingdom We offer these prayers through Christ, our Lord and your Son, in union with the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen
Thought for the Day – 9 May – “Mary’s Month” Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Cardinal Virtues of Mary
“Let us compare ourselves with Mary and consider how far we have succeeded in acquiring these virtues. If we are to possess fully, the Cardinal virtue of JUSTICE, we must direct all our thoughts, desires and actions, towards God. Since everything comes from God, we should offer everything back to Him. If we fail to do this, we are guilty of injustice towards God. We take for ourselves, something which belongs to Him. We must also be just to our neighbour. It is not enough to be charitable only because there can be no charity, unless, it is founded on justice. This justice should characterise our thoughts and judgements, as well as our words and actions.
Have we the Virtue of PRUDENCE? Prudence demands constant self-control. How often do we lose control over ourselves and say things which we ought not to say, or do things, which we ought not to do? Prudence is a splendid virtue, which can be obtained by the grace of God, by living a life of union with Him. It necessitates constant vigilance over our faculties and passions, in order to ensure, that nothing will interfere with our rational conduct and with our observance of the commandments of God.
Interior TEMPERANCE, is simply the result of prudence, insofar, as it obliges us to master ourselves and to abstain from everything which could upset the proper order of our faculties, in relation to one another and to God. If we are inwardly temperate, we shall show external temperance in our words and deeds. We shall abstain, in other words, from everything suggested by our lower nature, which is contrary to the commandments of God and the precepts of the Church. This means, we shall observe among other things, the Church’s laws of fasting and abstinence. We shall keep away from dangerous amusements and from anything else which could be harmful to ourselves or to our neighbour.
Finally, we must imitate the FORTITUDE of Mary. We must be brave in the face of temptation to sin, in suffering and in all the diffculties of life. Looking always towards Heaven, our true home, we shall find at last, the peace and happiness, which have no end.”
Quote/s of the Day – 9 May – Sixth Sunday of Easter, Readings: First: Acts 10: 25-26, 34-35, 44-48; Psalm: Psalms 98: 1, 2-3, 3-4 (2b); Second: First John 4: 7-10; Gospel: John 15: 9-17
“You are my friends if you do what I command you. “
“It is not that we keep His commandments first and that then He loves but, that He loves us and then we keep His commandments. This is that grace which is revealed to the humble but hidden from the proud.”
“If we live good lives, the times are also good. As we are, such are the times.”
St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor of Grace
“We must note, therefore, that he that does things pleasing to God, serves Christ but he that follows his own wishes, is a follower, rather of himself and not of God.”
St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Father and Doctor of the Incarnation
PRAYER – O Infinite Goodness – Act of Contrition By St Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621) – Doctor of the Church
O my God, I am exceedingly grieved, for having offended Thee and with my whole heart, I repent of the sins I have committed. I hate and abhor them above every other evil, not only because, by so sinning, I have lost heaven and deserved hell but still more because I have offended Thee, O infinite Goodness, who art worthy to be loved above all things. I most firmly resolve, by the assistance of Thy grace, never more to offend Thee for the time to come and to avoid those occasions which might lead me into sin. Amen
One Minute Reflection – 9 May – Sixth Sunday of Easter, Readings: First: Acts 10: 25-26, 34-35, 44-48; Psalm: Psalms 98: 1, 2-3, 3-4 (2b); Second: First John 4: 7-10; Gospel: John 15: 9-17
“Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” – John 15:13
REFLECTION – “Cloth of scarlet or purple is a very precious and royal fabric, not because of the wool but because of the colour. The actions of good Christians are of such great value, that heaven is given to us for them. However, … it is not because they come from us and are the wool of our hearts. Rather, it is because they are dyed with the blood of the Son of God. I mean, that the Saviour sanctifies our actions by the merits of His blood. A branch of the vine, united and joined to the stock, produces fruit, not by it’s own power but empowered by the stock. Now we are untied by charity to our Redeemer, as members to the head (Eph 4:15-16). That is why our fruits and good works, drawing their value from Him, merit life everlasting.
… We, ourselves, are branches that are dry, unprofitable and unfruitful. We are not competent of ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, our competence is from God, who has made us competent to be ministers (2 Cor 3:5-6) and able to do His will. Therefore, as soon as sacred love engraves on our hearts the name of our Saviour, our great Shepherd (1 Pet 2:25), we begin to bear delicious fruits for life everlasting.” …. St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor of Charity
PRAYER – Almighty, ever-living God, bring us to the joy of Your heavenly city, so that we, Your little flock, may follow where Christ, our Good Shepherd, has gone before us, by the power of His Resurrection. May our hearts overflow with the joy of His eternal presence, that in Him and through Him and with Him, we may attain the happiness of life eternal. May the prayers of the Blessed Virgin, guide us that we may always follow our Shepherd in faithful love. We make our prayer through Christ, our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God now and for all eternity, amen.
Saint of the Day – 9 May – Blessed Thomas Pickering OSB (c 1621-1679) Martyr, Benedictine Lay Brother. bBorn in c 1621 in Westmorland, England and died by being hanged, drawn and quartered on 9 May 1679 at Tyburn, London, England. He was one of the 107 martyrs Beatified by Pope Pius XI on 15 December 1929 and is, therefore, remembered with them all on 4 May. In character, he was described, as the most charitable and sweet-tempered of men.
Thomas was a member of an old Westmoreland family. He was sent to the Benedictine Monastery of St Gregory at Douai, where he took vows as a lay brother in 1660.
In 1665 he was sent to London, where, as steward or procurator to the little community of Benedictines who served the Queen’s Chapel Royal, Catherine of Braganza, the Catholic wife of King Charles II. Thomas became personally known to the Queen and Charles II and when in 1675, urged by the Parliament, Charles issued a proclamation ordering the Benedictines to leave England within a fixed time, Pickering was allowed to remain, probably on the grounds that he was not a Priest.
In 1678 came the infernal concocted fabricaltion of Titus Oates, claims of a Catholic plot against the King’s life. In consequence, Thomas was accused of conspiring to murder the King. At his trial on 17 December 1678, no evidence of treasonwas produced except Oates’s mere word and Pickering’s Housekeeper, the formidable Ellen Rigby, testified that Oates had only seen Pickering once in his life, when he had been begging for alms at the Benedictine’s London house in the summer of 1678. She also testified that he had a personal grudge against Pickering, who, despite his habitual charity and good temper, told her “never to let that man come in again.” Pickering’s innocence was so obvious, that the Queen publicly announced her belief in him, saying that she could not accept that he was a risk to the royal family: “I should have more fear to be alone in my chamber with a mouse.” But, the jury found him guilty and with two others, William Ireland and John Grove, he was condemned to be hanged, drawn and quartered.
The King, who himself had Catholic leanings, was divided between the wish to save the innocent men and fear of the popular clamour, which loudly demanded the death of Oates’s victims and twice, within a month, the three prisoners were ordered for execution and then reprieved.
At length Charles remitted the execution of the other two, hoping that this would satisfy the people and save Pickering from his fate. The contrary took place, however and on 26 April 1679, the House of Commons petitioned for Pickering’s execution. Charles yielded and the long-deferred sentence was carried out on the ninth of May.
A small piece of cloth stained with his blood is preserved among the relics at Downside Abbey.
Madonna del Bosco / Our Lady of the Woods, Imbersago, Como, Lombardy, Italy (1617) – 9 May:
On 8 May 1617, three shepherds, one named Peter, saw the Madonna near a large tree, a chestnut tree to be exact. They reported that the apparition rose up and disappeared into the sky. They were believed immediately as that particular and only chestnut tree, was found full of fruit out of its normal season. In 1632 at the site, visited by the Virgin, a Chapel was erected, then replaced with a large and most beautiful Church in 1677., which has since been raised to the status of a Minor Basilica. In it we honor what is called the Madonna del Bosco (The Our Lady of the Woods).u Two years before this apparition, some had seen, in the same place, a lady bathed in light hovering on top of those chestnut trees and heard beautiful songs coming from the spot. Many other miracles occured here, the most well-known being that of a mother whose child was being attacked by wolves, which were very prevalent in the area. She called to the Virgin, who appeared and saved the child from the wolf-attack. The Statue within the Sanctuary commemorates these miracle.s
The main Altarpiece is a depiction of the Madonna and Child above a grove of Chestnut trees (1888).
The Sanctuary can be accessed via the 392 steps of the Scala Santa. Most are linear steps until the end with a scenic sweep of two accesses.
St Banban the Wise St Beatus of Laon St Beatus of Lungern St Brynoth of Scara St Dionysius of Vienne Bl Fortis Gabrielli St Gerontius of Cervia