Thought for the Day – 3 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Revealed in the Gospel
“The whole life of our Saviour was motivated by love for us, from the moment of birth to the moment of death. Let us recall to mind, an incident of particular significance; Jesus was at the gate of Nain when a funeral procession came out from the City. The only son of a poor widow had died. He was all that she had in life. The Heart of Jesus was moved with compassion. He stopped the procession, recalled the young man to life and restored him to his mother.
Once, when Jesus was preaching in the desert, He was surrounded by a multitude who had followed Him there, without giving thought to material necessities. His Heart was touched by th sight of this hungry crowd. “I have compassion on the crowd,” (Mk 8:2) He said and performed the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves.
One day, Jesus saw a poor woman in tears who was surrounded by a group of men who were planning to stone her. She was an adulteress and this was the penalty commanded by the law of Moses. But Jesus looked into the soul of the unfortunate woman and saw, that she was repentant. He looked into the hearts of the men who had condemned her and saw, that they were full of evil. “Let him who is without sin among you,” He said, “be the first to cast a stone at her.” At this, her accusers went away. Jesus turned to the woman, “has no-one condemned thee,” He asked her. “Neither will I condemn thee. Go thy way and from now on, sin no more” ((Jn 8:1-2).
Let us recall the touching parables of the prodigal son and the lost sheep. Let us recall all these pages in which the human-divine love of Jesus is forcefully shown and we shall feel eager to return such great love, to weep for our sins and to live entirely for Jesus, as He lived entirely for us.
Quote/s of the Day – 3 June – Solemnity of Corpus Christi, The Most Holy Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ
“I am the bread of life; he who comes to me, shall not hunger and he who believes in me, shall never thirst.”
“This bread you see on the Altar, consecrated by the word of God, is the Body of Christ. This cup consecrated by the word of God, or rather its contents, is the Blood of Christ. In these two elements our Lord desired to hand over, for our veneration and love, His Body and Blood, shed for the remission of our sins. If you have received them with a good disposition, then you are what you have received. As the apostle Paul declares: “We are, all of us, one bread, one body” (1 Cor 10,17)…”
St Augustine (354-430) Bishop, Father, Doctor of Grace
“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.”
St Francis of Assisi (c 1181–1226)
“God is as really present in the consecrated Host, as He is, in the glory of Heaven.”
St Paschal Baylon (1540-1592)
Prayer of Adoration Act of Spiritual Communion By St Conrad of Parzham (1818-1894)
I have come to spend a few moments with You, O Jesus and in spirit I prostrate myself in the dust before Your Holy Tabernacle to adore You, my Lord and God, in deepest humility. Once more, a day has come to its close, dear Jesus, another day which brings me nearer to the grave and my beloved heavenly home. Once more, O Jesus, my heart longs for You, the true Bread of Life, which contains all sweetness and relish. O my Jesus, mercifully grant me pardon for the faults and ingratitude of this day and come to me, to refresh my poor heart which longs for You. As the heart pants for the waters, as the parched earth longs for the dew of heaven, even so, does my poor heart long for You, You Fount of Life. I love You, O Jesus, I hope in You, I love You and out of love for You, I regret sincerely all my sins. May Your peace and Your benediction be mine, now and always and for all eternity. Amen
One Minute Reflection – 3 June – Solemnity of Corpus Christi, The Most Holy Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, Readings: First: Exodus 24: 3-8, Psalm: Psalms 116: 12-13, 15-16, 17-18 (13), Second: Hebrews 9: 11-15, Gospel: John 6:44-51
“The bread that I will give, is my flesh for the life of the world.” – John 6:51
REFLECTION – “They are wholly mistaken who reject God’s plan for His creation, deny the salvation of the flesh and scoff at the idea of its regeneration, asserting that it cannot put on an imperishable nature. If the flesh is not saved, then the Lord did not redeem us with His Blood, the Chalice of the Eucharist is not a share in His Blood and the Bread which we break is not a share in His Body (1Cor 10,16). For… the human substance, which the Word of God truly became, redeems us with His Blood…
Since we are His members (1Cor 6,15) and are nourished by His creation… He declared, that the Chalice of His creation is His own Blood, from which He augments our own blood and He affirmed, that the Bread of His creation is His own Body from which He gives growth to our being.
So, when the mixed chalice and the baked loaf receive the word of God and when the Eucharistic elements become the Body and Blood of Christ, which brings growth and sustenance to our bodily frame, how can it be maintained that our flesh is incapable of receiving God’s gift of eternal life?
For our flesh feeds on the Lord’s Body and Blood and is His member. So Saint Paul writes: “We are members of his body, of his flesh and of his bones” (Eph 5,30; Gn 2,23). He is not speaking about some spiritual and invisible man…: he is speaking of the anatomy of a real man, consisting of flesh, nerves and bones. It is this that is nourished by His Chalice, the Chalice of His Blood and gains growth from the Bread which is His Body… In the same way, our bodies are nourished by the after being buried in the earth and… rise again in due season, when the word of God confers resurrection upon them “for the glory of God the Father” (Phil 2,11).” – St Irenaeus of Lyons (130-202) Bishop, Theologian and Martyr
PRAYER – Lord Jesus Christ, You gave Your Church an admirable Sacrament, as the abiding memorial of Your Passion. Teach us so to worship the sacred mystery of Your Body and Blood, that ts redeeming power may sanctify us always. Who live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 3 June – Solemnty of Corpus Christ, The Most Holy Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ
St Thomas Aquinas wrote the Liturgy for Corpus Christi when Pope Urban IV added the Solemnity to the universal Church’s Liturgical calendar in 1264. He provided a great sequence, one of the great poems chanted or recited before the proclamation of the Gospel. Lauda Sion is one of only four medieval sequences which were preserved in the Roman Missal published in 1570 following the Council of Trent (1545–1563)—the others being Victimae Paschali Laudes (Easter), Veni Sancte Spiritus (Pentecost) and Dies irae (requiem masses). (A fifth, Stabat Mater, would later be added in 1727.) Before Trent, many feasts had their own sequences. The existing versions were unified in the Roman Missal promulgated in 1570. The Lauda Sion is still sung today as solemn Eucharistic hymn, though its use is optional in the post-Vatican II Ordinary form. As with St Thomas’s other three Eucharistic Hymns, the last few stanzas of the Lauda Sion are often used alone, in this case, to form the “Ecce Panis Angelorum”.
Lauda Sion Salvatorem Sion, Lift Up thy Voice and Sing (Excerpt) By St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) Doctor Angelicus / Doctor Communis
Sion, lift thy voice and sing, Praise thy Saviour and thy King, Praise with hymns thy Shepherd true, Dare thy most to praise Him well, For He doth all praise excel, None can ever reach His due.
Special theme of praise is Thine, That true living Bread divine, That life-giving flesh adored, Which the brethren twelve received, As most faithfully believed, At the Supper of the Lord.
Let the chant be loud and high, Sweet and tranquil be the joy Felt to-day in every breast; On this festival divine Which recounts the origin Of the glorious Eucharist.
Saint of the Day – 3 June – Saint Kevin of Glendalough (c 498-618) Priest, Founder and first Abbot of the Glendalough Monastery in County Wicklow, Ireland, Hermit, Ascetic and Mystic, scholar, Spiritual Adviser, miracle-worker., he possessed a miraculous affinity with animals and nature. Born in c 498 as Coemgen which means “fair-begotten”, or “of noble birth” at the Fort of the White Fountain, Leinster, Ireland and died on 3 June 618 of natural causes. Patronages – blackbirds, Archdiocese of Dublin, Glendalough. Also known as – Kevin of Glen da locha, Caoimhghin, Coemgen, Coemgenus, Comegen, Keivin. Glendalough, or the Glen of two Lakes, is one of the most important sites of monastic ruins in Ireland. Before the arrival of St Kevin this glen would have been desolate and remote, ideal for a secluded retreat.
Kevin (like St Columba) was of noble birth, the son of Coemlog and Coemell of Leinster. He was born in c 498 at the Fort of the White Fountain and Baptised by Saint Cronan of Roscrea. He became a pupil of Saint Petroc of Cornwall, who had come to Leinster about 492. He was Ordained by Bishop Lugidus and, following his Ordination, he moved to Glendalough in order to live a life of contemplation and prayer. He lived as a Hermit in a partially man made cave, now known as St Kevin’s Bed, to which he was led, in the account of his Vita, by an angel.
St Kevin’s Bed can best be described as a man-made cave cut in the rock face very close to the edge of the mountain. It overlooks the upper lake from a height of about 0 metres. The approach to the cave is very difficult, with access to it through a rectangular space and a short passageway 1 metre high and les than that in width. The inner or main part of the cave is just 1.5 metres wide and less than 31 metre high. It is reasonable to assume that the cave could only have been used as a sleeping place and would have been impossible for an adult to stand upright in, so it is quite likely that St Kevin only used it as his bed, or a place for pious prayer or meditation.
There is a legend which claims that St Laurence O’Toole used the “bed” as he frequently made penitential visits to Glendalough, especially during the season of Lent.
Kevin lived the life of a hermit there with an extraordinary closeness to nature. His companions were the animals and birds all around him. He lived as a Hermit for seven years wearing only animal skins, sleeping on stones and eating very sparingly.
He went barefoot and spent his time in prayer. Disciples were soon attracted to Kevin and a further settlement enclosed by a wall, called Kevin’s Cell, was established nearer the lakeshore. By 540 Saint Kevin’s fame as a teacher and holy man had spread far and wide. Many people came to seek his help and guidance. In time, Glendalough grew into a renowned seminary of saints and scholars and the parent of several other Monasteries.
In 544, Kevin went to the Hill of Uisneach in County Westmeath to visit the holy Abbots, Sts Columba, Comgall and Cannich and to establish a brotherly league of communication with them. He then proceeded to Clonmacnoise, where St Cieran had died three days before. Having firmly established his community, he retired into solitude for four years and only returned to Glendalough at the earnest entreaty of his Monks. Until his death in 618, Kevin presided over his Monastery in Glendalough, living his life by fasting, praying and teaching. St Kevin is one of the Patron Saints of the diocese of Dublin.
He belonged to the second order of Irish saints. Eventually, Glendalough, with its seven Churches, became one of the chief pilgrimage destinations in Ireland.
Kevin of Glendalough was Canonised by St Pope Pius X on 9 December 1903 (cultus confirmation).
You were privileged to live in the Age of Saints, O Father Kevin being Baptised by one Saint, taught by another and buried by a third. Pray to God that He will raise up saints in our day to help, support and guide us into the Way of salvation. (A troparion to St Kevin)
Madonna della Lettera / Our Lady of the Letter (Messina, Sicily, Italy) 1693 – Patron of Messina, Palmi (Reggio Calabria) and of Finale (Palermo) – 3 June and 9 January:
According to tradition, Saint Paul arrived in Messina to preach the Gospel and the population welcomed him with enthusiasm, thus obtaining many conversions. In 42, when Paul was about to return to Palestine, some Messinesi asked to accompany him in order to get to know Our Lady in person. So a delegation of Messinesi went to Palestine with a missive, in which many fellow citizens converted to the faith of Christ, professed their faith and asked for the protection of Mary.
Mary welcomed them and, in response to the letter, sent back a letter of her, written in Hebrew, rolled up and tied with a lock of her hair. The delegation returned to Messina on 8 September 42 carrying the important letter. In it, Mary praised their faith, mentioning that their devotion pleased her and assured them of her perpetual prayers and protection.
The lock of hair is kept in the Cathedral of Messina and exposed on the day of Corpus Christi set in the tree of a small galleon built in silver, which represents one of the examples of the protection of the Lady for Messina. (see image below)
The cult of Our Lady of the Letter, however, only became established in 1716, the year in which the Monk Gregorio Arena brought a translation of the letter of Mary from Arabic into Messina. Since then, the City of Messina has celebrated the festival on 3 June with a crowded procession of the silvery litter of Our Lady. The tradition of the names Letterio and Letteria (abbreviations, respectively Lillo and Lilla) derives from the cult of Our Lady of the Letter, spread above all in Messina and the Province.
The text of the letter delivered to the Messina delegation reads:
“Most humble servant of God, Mother of Jesus crucified, of the tribe of Judah, of the lineage of David, good health to all the Messinese and Blessing of God the Father Almighty. It is clear to us, through public instrument, that all of you with great faith, have sent Legates and Ambassadors, confessing that Our Son, begotten of God, is God and man and that after his Resurrection, ascended into heave. Having known the way of truth through the preaching of Paul, the chosen Apostle for whom we bless you and your city and, of which, we want to be its perpetual protector.
(From Jerusalem 3 June year 42 of Our Son. Indiction 1 moon XXVII) “
The phrase VOS ET IPSAM CIVITATEM BENEDICIMUS(“We bless you and your City”) is now written in large letters at the base of the Statue of Our Lady on the extreme arm of the Port of Messina. It should be noted that the text of the letter has an inconsistency in the date, since at that time Christian dating did not yet exist.
The devotion in Palmi (Reggio Calabria): – In 1575 an epidemic of plague broke out in Messina which caused the death of over 40,000 people. The citizens of Palmi welcomed those who fled the Peloritan City and also, through its sailors, sent aid of various kinds of food and oil. After the calamity, the City of Messina wanted to donate one of the hairs of Our Lady that were brought to the Sicilian City to the ecclesial authorities of Palmi, as a sign of gratitude for the help given. In 1582 a reliquary containing a Holy Hair of the Virgin arrived at the Marina di Palmi. From that moment, veneration towards Our Lady with the title “of the Holy Letter” began also in the people of Palmese and her Effigy carved in dark wood and enclosed in a silver mantle, similar to that venerated in the Peloritan City, was adopted.
Martyrs of Uganda (Memorial) – 22 saints: Twenty-two (22) young Ugandan converts martyred in the persecutions of King Mwanga. They are – • Achileo Kiwanuka • Adolofu Mukasa Ludigo • Ambrosio Kibuuka • Anatoli Kiriggwajjo • Anderea Kaggwa • Antanansio Bazzekuketta • Bruno Sserunkuuma • Charles Lwanga • Denis Ssebuggwawo • Gonzaga Gonza • Gyavire • James Buzabaliao • John Maria Muzeyi • Joseph Mukasa • Kizito • Lukka Baanabakintu • Matiya Mulumba • Mbaga Tuzinde • Mugagga • Mukasa Kiriwawanvu • Nowa Mawaggali • Ponsiano Ngondwe They were Canonised on 18 October 1964 by Pope Paul VI at Rome, Italy. The Lives and Martyrdom of the Ugandan Martyrs: https://anastpaul.com/2017/06/03/saints-of-the-day-3-june-uganda-martyrs-or-st-charles-lwanga-companions/
Bl Adam of Guglionesi St Albert of Como St Athanasius of Traiannos St Auditus of Braga Bl Beatrice Bicchieri St Caecilius of Carthage
St Charles Lwanga & Companions (see the Martyrs of Uganda above)
Bl Charles-René Collas du Bignon St Clotilde of France St Conus of Lucania St Cronan the Tanner St Davinus of Lucca Bl Diego Oddi Bl Francis Ingleby St Gausmarus of Savigny St Genesius of Clermont St Glunshallaich St Hilary of Carcassone St Isaac of Córdoba
St Laurentinus of Arezzo St Liphardus of Orléans St Morand of Cluny St Moses of Arabia St Oliva of Anagni St Paula of Nicomedia St Pergentinus of Arezzo St Phaolô Vu Van Duong St Urbicius — Dominicans Martyred in China
Martyrs of Africa – 156 saints: 156 Christians martyred together in Africa, date unknown; the only other information to survive are some of their names – • Abidianus• Demetria• Donatus• Gagus• Januaria• Juliana• Nepor• Papocinicus• Quirinus• Quirus Martyrs of Byzantium – 5 saints: A group of Christians, possibly related by marriage, who were martyred together. They were – • Claudius• Dionysius• Hypatius• Lucillian• Paul They were Martyred in 273 in Byzantium.
Martyrs of Rome – 8 saints: A group of Christians martyred together. We know nothing else about them but the names – • Amasius• Emerita• Erasmus• Lucianus• Orasus• Satuaucnus• Septiminus• Servulus They were Martyred in Rome, Italy, date unknown.
Martyrs of Rome – 86 saints: 85+ Christians martyred together in Rome, Italy, date unknown. The only details that have survived are some of their names – • Apinus • Apronus • Aurelius • Avidus • Cassianus • Criscens • Cyprus • Domitius • Donata • Donatus • Emeritus • Extricatus • Exuperia • Faustina • Felicitas • Felix • Flavia • Florus • Fortunata • Fortunatus • Fructus • Gagia • Gagus • Gallicia • Gorgonia • Honorata • Januaria • Januarius • Justa • Justus • Libosus • Luca • Lucia • Matrona • Matura • Mesomus • Metuana • Nabor • Neptunalis • Obercus • Paula • Peter • Pompanus • Possemus • Prisca • Procula • Publius • Quintus • Rogatian • Romanus • Rufina • Saturnin • Saturnus • Secundus • Severa • Severus • Sextus • Silvana • Silvanus • Sinereus • Tertula • Titonia • Toga • Urban • Valeria • Veneria • Veranus • Victor • Victoria • Victorinus • Victuria • Victurina • Virianus • Weneria • Zetula. They were Martyred in Rome date unknown.
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