Thought for the Day – 15 May – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Power of Mary
“We should turn confidently to Mary, especially when we are tempted. She cannot allow us to offend her Jesus and to fall into the foils of the devil, as long as we pray to her with faith in her intercession. “The devil, as a roaring lion,” says St Peter, “goes about seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). But, our Mother Mary is always by our side seeking to protect us. Let us entrust ourselves to her maternal care. Not only does Mary wish to help us, declares St Bonaventure but, those who do not pray to her, commit almost as great an offence, as those who openly insult her (In Spec Virg)!
Quote/s of the Day – 15 May – “Mary’s Month” – Readings: Acts 18: 23-28, Psalms 47: 2-3, 8-9, 10, John 16: 23-28
“Amen, amen I say to you, if you ask the Father anything in my name, he will give it you.”
“Prayer is the wing, wherewith the soul flies to heaven and meditation, the eye, wherewith we see God.”
St Ambrose (340-397) Father and Doctor of the Church
“Lift up and stretch out your hands, not to heaven but to the poor… if you lift up your hands in prayer without sharing with the poor, it is worth nothing.”
St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father and Doctor of the Church
“A servant of the Lord stands bodily before men but mentally, he is knocking at the gates of heaven. with prayer.”
“Ask with tears, seek with obedience, knock with patience.”
St John Climacus (c 525-606) Father of the Church
Prayer for the Gift of Prayer By St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) Most Zealous Doctor
O Incarnate Word, You have given Your Blood and Your Life to confer on our prayers that power by which, according to Your promise, they obtain for us all that we ask. And we, O God, are so careless of our salvation, that we will not even ask You for the graces that we must have, if we should be saved! In prayer You have given us the key of all Your Divine treasures; and we, rather than pray, choose to remain in our misery. Alas! O Lord, enlighten us, and make us know the value of prayers, offered in Your name and by Your merits, in the eyes of Your Eternal Father. Amen
“My children, your heart is small but prayer expands it and makes it able to love God. Prayer is a foretaste of heaven, an outflowing of paradise. It never leaves us without sweetness. It is honey, which descends into the soul and sweetens everything. Sorrows melt in a prayer, that is well prayed, like snow in the sun.”
Our Morning Offering – 15 May – ‘Mary’ Month’ – Saturday within the Octave of th Ascension
Run, Hasten O Lady By St Bernard (1090-1153) Doctor of the Church
Run, hasten, O Lady, and in your mercy help your sinful servant, who calls upon you, and deliver him from the hands of the enemy. Who will not sigh to you? We sigh with love and grief, for we are oppressed on every side. How can we do otherwise than sigh to you, O solace of the miserable, refuge of outcasts, ransom of captives? We are certain that when you see our miseries, your compassion will hasten to relieve us. O our sovereign Lady and our Advocate, commend us to your Son. Grant, O blessed one, by the grace which you have merited, that He, Who through you, was graciously pleased to become a partaker of our infirmity and misery, may also, through your intercession, make us partakers, of His happiness and glory. Amen
One Minute Reflection – 15 May – “Mary’s Month” – Readings: Acts 18: 23-28, Psalms 47: 2-3, 8-9, 10, John 16: 23-28
“In that day you will ask in my name” – John 16:26
REFLECTION – “At the end of our prayers we say: “Through Jesus Christ your Son, our Lord” and not “Through the Holy Spirit.” This practice of the universal Church is not without reason. At its root lies the mystery according to which Jesus Christ is the Mediator between God and humanity (1 Tim 2:5), a Priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek, He who, with His own blood, entered into the Holy of holies, not that which was only a copy but into heaven itself, where He is at the right hand of God and intercedes for us (Heb 6:20; 9:24).
It was in His consideration of Christ’s Priesthood, that the Apostle said: “Through him let us continually offer God a sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of lips that confess his name” (Heb 13:15). It is through Him that we offer the sacrifice of praise and prayer because it is His death that r,econciled us while we were still enemies (Rom 5:10). He willed to offer Himself in sacrifice for our sakes and, since then, it is through Him, that our offerings can be acceptable in God’s sight. This is why Saint Peter warns us in these words: “Like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (1 Pt 2:5). This is the reason why we say to God the Father: “Through Jesus Christ your Son, our Lord.” – Saint Fulgentius of Ruspe (467-532) – Bishop in North Africa – Letter 14,36
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, hear our prayer as we unite our voices in the name of Your Son, our Lord and Redeemer. May our faith, love and joy in Christ bring us all alike to our eternal heritage and may the prayer of His blessed Mother and ours lead us safely home. We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God with You, loving Father, forever, amen.
Saint of the Day – 15 May – Saint Hallvard of Oslo (c 1020-1043) Martyr in defence of innocence. Born in c 1020 and died by being shot with an arrow at Drammen, Norway. Patronages – Oslo, Innocence.
Saint Hallvard was born of noble parents. He grew up on his father’s farm, well-liked by everyone. He loved Christianity, was obedient to his parents, loving his neighbour, chaste and in every way honest and just.
Hallvard became a merchant. An introductory story to the legend tells that he was once on Gotland on a trade trip. “Then one of the inhabitants of the land, a rich man named Borvid, came to the strangers and asked who they were. He stood looking at Hallvard for a while and then said, ‘Who is this young man?’ They explained his name and lineage. When he heard this, he said: ‘You have an unusual face and are different to the others. I know for a fact that a great One, will shine upon you.” After this prophecy, he invited the Saint and his companions to a banquet, bought all of Hallvard’s goods and paid more than the Saint asked for.
The legend continues: “Shortly afterwards, in the spring, Saint Hallvard left home to trade in the neighbourhood. He came to a lake called Drafn, there he found a small boat and went on board. But suddenly a pregnant woman appeared, she tremblingly asked to join him on board. When asked who she was and where she was going, she gave her name and said that when she wanted to cross the sea and saw a boat that was going to set out, she came running as fast as she could because she feared for her life. He said she could sit in the stern and then he rowed away. But suddenly he saw three men running down to the beach. They jumped on board another boat and came after Hallvard and his passenger.
The saint said to the woman, ‘Do you know them?’ She replied, ‘Yes, I know them.’ He said: ‘I see that they are after you. Tell me what you did! ‘ She replied. ‘It’s true that they are persecuting me but I have not done what they accuse me of. They accuse me of theft. ‘ He said, ‘Can you cleanse yourself of the charge by carrying iron burdens?’ She said, ‘Yes, I can,and I’m willing to do it as long as they spare me.
But the men, who were close to catching them again, said: ‘Why do you, Hallvard, an honourable young man protect such a bad woman? Surrender her so she can die. She deserves it. ‘ Hallvard said to them, ‘What has she done?’ They replied, ‘She broke into our brother’s house and stole his belongings.’ He asked them, ‘And how did she get into the house?’ They said, ‘She pulled the ring that held the lock out of the doorpost.’ He said: ‘No woman can do that, only a very strong man! Has anyone seen her do this? Or have you found stolen goods in her house? And if it is not certain that she has stolen, then why should she die? Wouldn’t it be more appropriate to let her clear herself of the accusation if she can? And if she can not, then she will either be judged according to the law, or I will pay her ransom. For you should not kill a pregnant woman and the child she is carrying. Do not do anything hasty now! ‘
Instead, they screamed, furiously. One of them grabbed his bow and tightened it and the arrow, which was fired with full force, drilled into the Martyr’s chest. After he was murdered, they also killed the woman and buried her on the beach. And to the Saint’s neck they bound a stone and lowered him into the deep. But by the grace of God and by the merits of the Martyr, long after his body was found, with the stone, floating on the sea. “ He was buried in the Saint Hallvard Cathedral, Oslo.
The Hallvard legend formed the basis for a local cult of Hallvard in the Middle Ages. His feast day is widely celebrated especially in Eastern Norway, especially in Viken. His connection to Oslo was strengthened by the fact that his image became part of the City’s Coat pf Arms, see below, as early as the 14th century and he has often been referred to as “Oslo’s Patron Saint.”
Oslo Municipality has made Hallvard’s Day 15 May, the City’s official holiday and the municipality’s highest award, the St Hallvard Medal, was named after him in 1950.
St Hallvard Church and Monastery on Enerhaugen was Consecrated as a Franciscan Monastery and Parish Church for the eastern Parish of the Oslo Catholic Diocese.
Notre-Dame-du-Port, Clermont-Ferrand, Puy de Dôme, Auvergne / Our Lady of the Port, (1614) – 15 May:
Clermont-Ferrand is located on a plain in the volcanic region of central France. Unlike most hub cities, it is not on a body of water. And yet ,for a thousand years, Clermont’s eastern district has been known as the Port.
In the crypt of its Romanesque Church of Our Lady of the Port, dating to the early 1100s, is an unusual Black Virgin, a polychromed walnut Statue just under a foot high. This long-revered image is a copy made around 1800 of a Statue from the 1200s, which was held to be a copy of an even earlier image–possibly going back to the Shrine’s foundation by St Avit in the 500s, or possibly a copy of a Byzantine icon brought by returning Crusaders. Mary cradles the child against her cheek, such as the Notre-Dame de Grâce, given in 1450 to Cambrai Cathedral in northern France. n 1614, snow and bitter cold enveloped the area without stopping from Martinmas (11 November) to Easter. By May, there were still no buds and no grass and famine loomed. The leaders and Priests conferred. They asked the Chapter to bring out the image of Our Lady of the Port from the collegiate Church.
The four-hour procession took place on the morning of Ascension Day, May 15, 1614. Some 8,000 people followed the holy image and relics of Saints around the City walls, chanting litanies. The next day, the weather grew milder and in the following days, truly beautiful. To the joy of all, the harvests were excellent that summer and even more abundant the next year.
The new Bishop, Joachim d’Estaing, on 5 May 1616, ordered an inquiry among the town notables, after which he issued an ordinance declaring that the Feast of Notre-Dame du Port would take place on 15 May in the Parish and be observed as a day of rest in the future.
The Statue was crowned in 1875 and on 15 May 1881, Pope Leo XII declared the Church a Minor Basilica. The procession of the first Sunday after 15 May remains joyously well attended.
Bercthun of Beverley Bertha of Bingen St Caecilius of Granada St Caesarea of Otranto St Cassius of Clermont Bl Clemente of Bressanone St Colman Mc O’Laoighse St Ctesiphon of Verga Blessed Diego of Valdieri
St Gerebernus St Hallvard of Oslo (c 1020-1043) Martyr St Hesychius of Gibraltar St Hilary of Galeata St Indaletius of Urci St Isaias St Isidore of Chios Bl Joan Montpeó Masip St Maximus of Clermont St Nicholas the Mystic St Rupert of Bingen St Secundus of Avila St Simplicius of Sardinia St Sophia of Rome St Victorinus of Clermont St Waldalenus of Beze