Thought for the Day – 22 May – “Mary’s Month” – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Mary, Queen of Heaven and Earth
“Towards the close of his life, St Paul wrote to his well-beloved disciple, St Timothy: “As for me, I am already being poured out in sacrifice and the time of my deliverance is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith. For the rest, there is laid up for me a crown of justice, which the Lord, the just judge, will give to me in that day; yet, not to me only but, also to those who love his coming” (2 Tim 4:6-8).
After all his apostolic labours and difficulties and, after a lifetime of boundless love, St Paul could confidently say, that he would receive the crown which he had earned. When the Blessed Virgin came to the end of her earthly pilgrimage, during which she had lovingly worked and suffered so much for Jesus, she could have expected, with even greater certainty, to receive the crown of glory, which she had merited. She was the noblest and holiest of creatures, because, she was the Mother of the eternal Word of God made man. Therefore, her reward had to be greater than that of any other creature. She was the Mother of the King of Angels and of Saints, of Heaven and earth. As such, it was her place to rule over them all. Seated at the right hand of her divine Son, she has glory and power, which none other could possess. The Church, therefore, invokes her under the title of Queen of Angels and of Saints, Queen of Apostles, Queen of Virgins, of Confessors and of Martyrs, Queen of Heaven and of earth. When our Holy Father, Pius XII, solemnly proclaimed her Queenship, in the year 1954, he was only giving voice to the general consensus of tradition, of the Liturgy and of the belief of all the faithful (Cf Encyclical, Ad Coeli Reginum, 11 Oct 1954).
It should be very encouraging to all of us to know that we have so powerful a Queen in Heaven, whose privilege it is, to dispense God’s graces. She has crushed the poisonous head of Satan. Now, she is able and eager to help us, her loyal sons and servants, to resist temptation, to frustrate the schemes of our deadly enemy and to perfect ourselves in virtue. Amen.”
Quote/s of the Day – 22 May – “Mary’s Month” – Readings: Acts 28:16-20, 30-31, Psalm 11:4-5, 7, John 21:20-25
“Lord, what about him?” Jesus said to him, “What if I want him to remain until I come? What concern is it of yours? You follow me.”
“I am Thine and born for Thee, What wilt Thou do with me?
Sovereign Lord, upon Thy throne, Endless Wisdom, One and whole, Goodness that dost feed my soul, Good and great, One God alone, As I sing my love for Thee. What wilt Thou do with me?
Thine I am, for Thou didst make me; Thine, for Thou alone didst save me; Thine – Thou couldst endure to have me; For Thine own, didst deign to take me. Never once, didst Thou forsake me. Ruined were I, if not for Thee: What wilt Thou do with me?
What, O good and loving Lord, What wilt Thou have this creature do? This Thy slave, a sinner too, Waiting till she hears Thy word? With Thy will in close accord, Sweetest Love, I come to Thee: What wilt Thou do with me?
Take, O Lord, my loving heart: See, I yield it to Thee whole, With my body, life and soul And my nature’s every part. Sweetest Spouse, my life Thou art; I have given myself to Thee: What wilt Thou do with me?
Let me live or let me die; Give me sickness, give me health; Give me poverty or wealth; Let me strive or peaceful lie. Weakness give or strength supply – I accept it all of Thee: What wilt Thou do with me?…
I am Thine and born for Thee, What wilt Thou do with me?”
Poem – I am Yours, for You I was born – “Vuestra Soy, para Vos nací ” (trans. E.Allison Peers)
St Teresa of Avila (1515-1582) Doctor of Prayer of the Church
One Minute Reflection – 22 May – “Mary’s Month” – Readings: Acts 28:16-20, 30-31, Psalm 11:4-5, 7, John 21:20-25
“Lord and what shall this man do?” – John 21:21
REFLECTION – “There are some persons who think they are not loved because they cannot be promoted, and who allege that they are despised, if they are not entrusted with responsibilities and offices. We know that as a result of this type of thinking no small discord has sprung up among those who were considered friends, so that estrangement followed upon indignation and railings upon estrangement ….
To Peter He commended His Church; to John, His most beloved Mother (Jn 19:27). To Peter He gave the keys of His kingdom (Mt 16:19); to John He revealed the secrets of His heart (Jn 13:25). Peter, therefore, was the more exalted; John, the more secure. Although Peter was established in power, nevertheless, when Jesus said, “One of you will betray me,” (Jn 13:21) He was afraid and trembled along with the rest but John, leaning on the bosom of his Master, was made the bolder and at a nod from Peter, asked who the traitor was. Peter, therefore, was exposed to action, John was reserved for love, according to the words of Christ: “So will I have him remain till I come.” Thus Christ, gave us the example, that we might do in like manner. – St Aelred of Rielvaux (1110-1167) Cistercian Monk – Spiritual Friendship, III, 115, 117
PRAYER – Almighty God and Father, Your ways are not our ways, teach us to willingly agree to them, for You know which way we should go. Help us to say “yes” always to Your plan and to render ourselves, as a sacrament of Your divine love to all we meet. Fill us with the grace to be your tools, to bring glory to Your kingdom. Our Father, who art in heaven, may Your Will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Mary Mother of God, pray for us! Through our Our Lord Jesus Christ with You, in the union of the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.
Our Morning Offering –22 May – “Mary’s Month” – Vigil of Pentecost
Most Holy Mary, Virgin Mother of God Act of Consecration By St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Indulgence of 300 days, for each recitation St Pius X, 17 November 1906
Most Holy Mary, Virgin Mother of God, I ………., most unworthy though I am to be thy servant, yet touched by thy motherly care for me and longng to serve thee, do, in the presence of my Guardian Angel and all the court of heaven, choose thee this day to be my Queen, my Advocate and my Mother and I firmly purpose to serve thee evermore myself and, to do what I can, that all may render faithful service to thee. Therefore, most devoted Mother, through the Precious Blood thy Son poured out for me, I beg thee and beseech thee, deign to take me among thy clients and receive me as thy servant forever. Aid me in my every action and beg for me the grace never, by word or deed or thought, to be displeasing in thy sight and that of thy most holy Son. Think of me, my dearest Mother and desert me not at the hour of death. Amen
Saint of the Day – 22 May – Saint Humility of Faenza (c 1226–1310) Wife, Mother, Nun – a founder of Vallumbrosan convents and is considered the Founder of the Vallumbrosan Nuns, Wife, Mother Widow, Recluse, spiritual adviser, spiritual writer. Born in 1226 at Faenza, Italy as Rosanna Negusanti and died on 22 May 1310 at Florence, Italy of natural causes. Also known as – Rosanna, Humilitas, Umiltà. Patronage- Faenza. Her body is incorrupt.
The Roman Martyrolog states pf her todzy: “In Florence, blessed Umiltà (Rosanna), who, with her husband’s consent, lived for twelve years as a recluse. Aat the request of the Bishop, she then built a Monastery of which she became Abbess and which she associated with the Order of Vallombrosa.”
Her ‘Life’ was written by the contemporary Monk Biagio in c 1330, is contained in the cod. 271 of the Riccardiana Library of Florence; also there is a second ‘Life’ in the cod. 1563 of the same Library. But many other texts of the following centuries, up to the Acts of the Congregation of Rites of 1720, report news concerning her, both as a person, for the writings, for the apostolic processes and for the foundations of ,onasteries connected to her.
Rosanna Negusanti, daughter of the nobles Elimonte and Richelda, was born in Faenza in 1226, the year of the death of the Seraphic Francis of Assisi, 1226.
In 1241 at the age of 15, she lost her father and the following year at 16 she married the nobleman named Ugoletto dei Caccianemici (died 1256). They had two children, but their happiness was very brief for both children died as soon as they were Baptise. At this time too, her mother, Richelda also died.
But the young woman, she was 24, without becoming discouraged and giving in to despair or distracting herself with the joys of the world, together with her husband Ugoletto decided to retire to religious life, both entering the cloisters of the rectory of St Perpetua. ; Iit was not uncommon in the Middle Ages to witness choices of this kind between two Christian spouses. And on this occasion Rosanna Negusanti changes her name to Humility; after having miraculously recovered from a serious illness.
Here she lived for twelve years, purifying and elevating her spirit with prayers and fasting, alternating them with advice that she gave to those who turned to her for help. Her example attracted some young women from Faenza who asked to build cells near hers and to live under her guidance.
And so in 1266 on the advice of Bishop Petrella, Humility agreed to become the spiritual guide of the new nuns, gathered in the old Monastery of Malta in Vallombrosa, which from then on would be called St Maria Novella. Humility was now 40 years old, she returned to being a mother full of goodness, wisdom and energy, becoming the guide for the new daughters, directing them on the path of holiness.
Fifteen years passed, putting into practice all the virtues of the Rule of St Benedict and the Vallombrosan Constitutions of St John Gualberto. When she was 55, in 1281, Mother Humilitybegan to build a new spiritual home for the young Florentine girls, whose life was shaken by the struggles between Whites and Blacks, the warring factions in the region. A Cchurch was erected in Florence, in honour of St John the Apostle Evangelist, had as Architect Giovanni Pisano and as Decorator the famous Buffalmacco. It was Consecrated in 1297 by the Bishop Francesco Monaldeschi.
Despite being very sick and elderly, Sister Humilty kept personal contacts with Faenza and Rome to give continuity to the two Monasteries, until after six months of suffering, at the age of 84, she ceased to live in Florence and on 22 May 1310 she entered life.
After a year on 6 June 1311, her body was exhumed and although it was buried in the bare earth, under the floor of the Church, it was incorrupt. She was dressed in precious clothes and from then on, she had an uninterrupted cult. Her body was later transferred to the Monasteries of St Caterina, of St Antonio (1529), of San Salvi (1534), in the 19th century to that of the Spirito Santo of Varlungo near Florence. Finally, in 1972, in the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Bagno a Ripoli, near Florence, where it is still preserved as perfect as it was in 1310.
The spirituality of St Humility can be seen from the few writings that have come down to us, they are a living expression of profound humility and fervent love for God and neighbour. Her cult is very ancient, perhaps it even dates back to the solemn ‘elevation’ of the relics in 1311, in which a Mass of its own was granted. In 1317, the Bishops gathered in Avignon, granted particular indulgences to her cult.
On 27 January 1720, the Congregation of Rites with Pope Benedict XIII confirmed the ancient cult, having their own Mass celebrated on 22 May and she was formally Canonised on 27 January 1720 by Pope Clement XI. She was declared Co-Patroness of Faenza in 1942. Altars were dedicated to her in the two Monasteries she founded of the Vallombrosana Congregation .
Beata Vergine di San Luca, Bologna, Italy / The Blessed Virgin of Saint Luke, Bologna – 22 May, Saturday before the Feast of the Ascension of our Lord:. The Blessed Virgin of St Luke is the Patron Saint of Bologna.
A Greek holy man named Theocles Kmnia, praying before this icon in the Church of St Sophia in Constantinople, saw an inscription on it: “This work made by St Luke, Chancellor of Christ, must be taken to the Church of St Luke on Guardia Mountain and installed on its Altar.”
Without knowing the mountain’s location, he pleaded with the clergy of St Sophia until they agreed to let him take the image there. For some time he travelled without finding anyone who knew of such a place. Finally, in Rome, he met the Bolognese Ambassador, who knew that two sisters, Azzolina and Beatrice Guezi, had retired to a life of prayer on Lookout Mountain, Monte della Guardia, outside Bologna and, had built a Chapel on the hill dedicated to St Luke. Supplied by the Ambassador with a horse, a servant and letters of recommendation to the leaders of Bologna, Theocles carried the icon there. On 8 May 1160, the Bishop of Bologna led it in procession to the sisters’ hermitage on Monte della Guardia. At this point, the story moves from legend to documented history. In 1192, another holy woman, Angelica di Caicle, retired to the mountain with the intention of building a bigger Church there. On 15 May 1194, the Bishop of Bologna ,laid the first stone. In 1249, Dominican sisters settled there. The image was carried in procession to Bologna on 4 April, 1302, during Charles de Valois’ invasion and again on 5 July 1433, after months of damaging rain. The rain’s end is commemorated in an annual procession from the Sanctuary to Bologna, which since 1476 has taken place on the Saturday before the Feast of Christ’s Ascension (always a Thursday).
The holy icon remains in Bologna for a week, returning to the Basilica Sanctuary on Ascension Sunday. It was ceremonially Crowned 5 April 1653 by the Archbishop and in 1857 by Blessed Pope Pius IX. Today the procession continues when pilgrims remove their shoes and begin the 3,796 meter (about 2 1/2 miles) climb up the longest uninterrupted portico in the world. to reach the Sanctuary and beg of our Holy Mother, intercession to her Son, for all their needs. Today, the highly veerated image is protected by a glass cover, see below.
St Boethian of Pierrepont St Castus the Martyr St Conall of Inniscoel Bl Diego de Baja Bl Dionisio Senmartin St Emilius the Martyr St Faustinus the Martyr St Francisco Salinas Sánchez St Fulgencio of Otricoli Bl Fulk of Castrofurli Bl Giacomo Soler Bl Giusto Samper St Helen of Auxerre
St Humility of Faenza (c 1226–1310) Wife, Mother, Nun – a founder of Vallumbrosan convents, and is considered the Founder of the Vallumbrosan Nuns
St Lupo of Limoges St Marcian of Ravenna St Margaret of Hulme Bl Pedro of the Assumption St Quiteria St Romanus of Subiaco St Timothy the Martyr St Venustus the Martyr — Martyred in the Spanish Civil War: • Blessed Francisco Salinas Sánchez • Blessed José Quintas Durán