Thought for the Day – 9 June – The Sacred Heart of Jesus Pierced by a Crown of Thorns

Thought for the Day – 9 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Crown of Thorns Which Surrounds the Sacred Heart

“There are many ways of showing our love for the Sacred Heart of Jesus and of making reparation for our sins and for the sins of mankind.
We can console ourselves with the reflection, that by these acts of love and reparation, we are removing the thorns which encircle and pierce the Heart of Jesus.
The simplest ways of doing this, are by prayers, aspirations and expressions of love, directed towards the adorable Heart of our Redeemer and, by visits to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.
In silence and recollection, before the Tabernacle, we shall feel the Heart of Jesus, beating with love and, shall offer in return, for His infinite love, the affection of our poor hearts.

We can also receive Holy Communion in reparation.
When Jesus is in us and we are in Jesus, it will be easier and more pleasant, to offer Him our love and expiation.
We can make reparation also, by practising the devotion of the First Fridays of the month.
This pious practice, so pleasing to the Heart of Jesus, aims at being a mass offering of love and reparation, for the sins of the entire human race.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci



Quote/s of the Day – 9 June – St Ephrem

Quote/s of the Day – 9 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – The Memorial of St Ephrem (306-373) Father & Doctor of the Church, , “The Harp of the Holy Spirit!”

Scripture brought me to the Gate of Paradise
and the mind stood in wonder as it entered.”

When you begin to read or listen to the Holy Scriptures,
pray to God thus:
“Lord Jesus Christ,
open the ears and eyes of my heart
so that I may hear Thy words
and understand them
and may fulfill Thy will.”
Always pray to God like this,
that He might illumine your mind
and open to you,
the power of His words.
Many, having trusted in their own reason,
have turned away into deception.”

“Have mercy, O Lord, on our children,
In our children,
Call to mind Your childhood,
You who were a child.
Let them that are like Your childhood
Be saved by Your grace.”

O Lord and Master of My Life
By Saint Ephrem (306-373)
Father & Doctor of the Church

O Lord and Master of my life,
give me not a spirit of sloth, vain curiosity,
lust for power and idle talk.
But give to me, Thy servant,
a spirit of soberness, humility, patience and love.
O Lord and King,
grant me to see my own faults
and not to condemn my brother.
For blessed art Thou to the ages of ages.
O God, be merciful to me a sinner.
O God, cleanse me, a sinner.
O God, my Creator, save me
and for my many sins forgive me!


St Ephrem (306-373)
Father & Doctor of the Church


One Minute Reflection – 9 June – ‘… He who is the end of the law …’

One Minute Reflection – 9 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Readings: First: Second Corinthians 3: 4-11, Psalm: Psalms 99: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9m Gospel: Matthew 5: 17-19

I have come, not to abolish but to fulfil.” … Matthew 5:17

REFLECTION – “Do you want to know how Jesus, far from abolishing the law and the prophets, comes rather to confirm and to complete them? Where the prophets are concerned, this happens first of all ,when He confirms, through His works, what they had announced. This is where the expression comes from, constantly repeated in St Matthew: “That the word of the prophets might be fulfilled”

Where the law is concerned, Jesus fulfilled it in three ways. First of all, by not omitting any of its legal requirements. He told John the Baptist: “We must do this if we would fulfil all of God’s demands,” (Mt 3:15). To the Jews He said: “Can any of you convict me of sin?” (Jn 8:46) … In the second place, He fulfils it because He wanted to submit Himself to it for our salvation. Oh marvel! By submitting to it, He communicated to us, too, the grace of fulfilling it! St Paul teaches us this when he says: “Christ is the end of the law. Through him, justice comes to everyone who believes,” (Rom 10:4). He also says that the Saviour condemned sin in the flesh “so that the just demands of the law might be fulfilled in us who live not according to the flesh,” (Rom 8:4.) He also says: “Are we then abolishing the law by means of faith? Not at all! On the contrary, we are confirming the law,” (Rom 3:31).

For the law aimed at making a person righteous but it didn’t have the strength do so so; then Christ came, He who is the end of the law and He showed us the way which leads to righteousness, that is to say – faith. Thus He fulfilled the law’s intention. The letter of the law could not justify the sinner; faith in Jesus Christ will justify him. That is why He can say: “I have not come to abolish the law.”

Now, if we look more closely, we can perceive a third way of fulfilling the law. What is this? It consists in the very precepts, which Christ had to give; far from overturning those of Moses, they are their just consequence and their natural complement.” – St John Chrysostom (345-407) Bishop of Constantinople, Father and Doctor of the Church – Homilies on St. Matthew 16

PRAYER – Shed your clear light on our hearts, Lord, so that walking continually in the way of Your commandments, we may never be deceived or misled. May the Mother of Our God and our Mother, be at our side and guide our way. We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus Christ in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever, amen. All praise, honour and glory to the divine Heart of JESUS. 50 Days Indulgence, Once a day, Raccolta, 168 Pope Leo XIII, 13 June 1901.


Our Morning Offering – 9 June – Be my Strength, O Sacred Heart!

Our Morning Offering – 9 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart”

Be my Strength, O Sacred Heart!
By St Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690)

Visionary of the Sacred Heart

O Sacred Heart of Jesus,
I fly to You,
I unite myself with You,
I enclose myself in You!
Receive my call for help, O my Saviour,
as a sign of my horror of all within me,
contrary to Your holy love.
Let me die rather a thousand times,
than consent to sin against You!
Be my strength, O God – defend me, protect me.
I am Yours and desire forever to be Yours!

Posted in MYSTICS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 9 June – Blessed Anna Maria Taigi O.SS.T. (1769-1837)

Saint of the Day – 9 June – Blessed Anna Maria Taigi O.SS.T. (1769-1837) Secular Religious of The Order of the Most Holy Trinity and of the Captives – known as the Trinitarians, Married laywoma, Mystic. Born on 29 May 1769 at Siena, Italy as Anna Maria Gianetti and died on 9 June 1837 at Rome, Italy of natural causes. Patronages – Housewives,Mothers,Victims of verbal abuse, Victims of spousal abuse,Families,Trinitarian tertiaries. Also known as – Anne Marie Gesualda Antonia Taigi, Anna Maria Taigi, Anne Marie Gianetti. Her body incorrupt.

Hailing from Siena, Italy, Taigi’s family moved to Rome when her pharmacist father needed to find employment after financial ruin. Poverty, although unchosen then, later in life would be embraced as one of her defining characteristics.

Unsure of her vocation as a young woman, Taigi considered religious life but because she was too ambivalent to it, a confessor suggested marriage. Her future husband’s path crossed hers while both were engaged in service work in the homes of Italian nobility. Domenico Taigi was a rough and tumble man, prone to making life difficult for those around him in word and deed. And his wife got the brunt of his temperament. But Taigi softened him, showing love when least expected. A hardened heart, almost assuredly will melt over time from love’s gentleness — such as an unwarranted smile. Taigi models how one takes seriously the marriage vows as a means to one’s own sanctification and growth in holiness.

This self-denial for which Anna Maria became known was not always what defined her. In the early years of their marriage, her life was marked by vanity and luxury. It has been disputed that she engaged in an adulterous affair.

But a conversion experience led Anna Maria to embrace a Gospel way of life that came to define her life. Baptised the day after her birth, Anna Maria’s faith had not blossomed until after her marriage. A chance encounter with a Priest in S. Peter’s Square prompted her to subsequently make a fruitful Confession, in which she renounced the life of worldly priorities which she had been living. That night, Taigi had been moved by an inner voice that said God desired more from her. Her husband described years later, how, as a first step in this new life, his wife “took to wearing the plainest possible clothes,” noting ,that, in obedience to her spouse, she asked for his consent. He gave it completely, he said, for he saw “she was entirely given to the love of God.”

All this had kept her from giving her all to Christ, which took place while in prayer before a Crucifix. She heard Jesus ask from the Cross, “What is your wish? To follow Jesus poor and naked and stripped of all, or to follow Him in His triumph and glory? Which do you choose?” To which she replied, “I embrace the Cross of my Jesus. I will carry it like Him in pain and ignominy. I wait at His hands, triumph and glory in the hereafter.”

Single-minded dedication to Christ, defined the rest of Anna Maria’s life, which was a constant display of the closeness to Christ she experienced in the Sacrament. She worked to serve Christ in the sick and poor as a Third Order Trinitarian ,while keeping up with the duties of a wife and mother. A gift of prophesying the future was the spiritual fruit of visions and ecstasies — all the more incredible that this came to an ordinary housewife, not the likes of a cloistered nun. Her prophetic abilities caused her to become sought after by many notable figures, including Napoleon’s Mother and the Pope. Anna Maria became acquainted with Cardinal Luigi Ercolani, and Giovanni Maria Mastai Ferretti ,who would become Blessed Pope Pius IX. Pope Pius VII often asked St Vincent Strambi , the Priest who had assisted her in her convesion, how she was doing and would send his blessings to her. Pope Leo XII and Giuseppe Bartolomeo Menocchio both held her in high esteem Anna Maria composed a prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Pedicini took this prayer to Pius VII who, in a rescript on 6 March 1809, granted an indulgence. For 100 days, those who recited it, a plenary indulgence once a month on the usual conditions.

Anna Maria attended the 1825 Jubilee which Pope Leo XII had summoned. She knew of the latter Pope’s ill health. Before he died, in 1829, she saw the morning sun and prayed for him. She heard a heavenly voice say, “Arise and pray. My Vicar is on the point of coming to render an account to Me.” Pope Leo’s successor Pope Pius VIII lived in the shadow of ill health. Anna Maria foresaw his death and prayed for his soul as she did with his predecessor. She had predicted the pontificate of Pius VIII would be a short one.

She successfully foresaw that Cardinal Bartolomeo Alberto Cappellari would be elected as Pope Gregory XVI. Before Pius VIII died, Anna Maria went to San Paolo fuori le Mura. When Cappellari arrived she fixed her eyes on him When she was asked why she was doing this, she frankly responded, “That is the future Pope.”

On 24 October 1836, Anna Maria fell ill. She was confined to her bed and would never rise again. On 2 June 1837, her fever slightly declined but a few days later, her fever rose again. On 5 June she bid farewell to those who visited her bedside. On 8 June she received the last rites of Extreme Unction.

Ana Maria received the Viaticum and the Anointing of the Sick from the local curate. On 9 June 1837, at 4 a.m., she died. Pedicini sent a letter at once to Cardinal Carlo Odescalchi to inform him of her death. Anna Maria’s remains were exposed until 11 June in the Church of Santa Maria in Via Lata. She was buried at Campo Verano where, on the orders of Pope Gregory XVI, her remains were enclosed in a leaden sepulcher with seals affixed to it. Cardinal Odescalchi asked her Confessor to compile all documents so that her biography could be published.

Upon her death in 1837, the future St Vincent Pallotti praised her holiness. This was reiterated by Venerable Bernardo Clausi who said, “If she is not in heaven, there is no room there for anybody.” She was Beatified by Pope Benedict XV on 30 May 1920.

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MARIAN TITLES, SAINT of the DAY

Madonna della Fontenuova / Our Lady of the Plain , Monsummano Terme, Pistoia, Tuscany, Italy, 1573 and Memorials of the Saints – 9 June

Madonna della Fontenuova / Our Lady of the Plain , Monsummano Terme, Pistoia, Tuscany, Italy, 1573 – 9 June

In the year 500, in the area where now stands the Church, there were only swamps, forests and meadows, an area used only by shepherds on the slopes of Monsummano Alto, with streets that wind their way through marshes and grassy fields., a place unlikely for a town to develop.

But what nature seems to deny was achieved, by a sudden and unexpected intervention of Our Lady. On 9 June 1573, in fact, Jacopina Mariotti, a shepherdess sweet and mild, as well as pious, simple and modest, prayed in front of one of the many pictures painted in fresco on the wall,s that dot the streets of the plan. After the prayer, she realised that she had lost her flock. Her crying moved the Virgin Mary who, according to a documented records, appearing to Jacopinam and showed her where her flock had wandered.

In addition, the Blessed Mother asked Jacopina to go to the Priest of the Church of the Castle, to sask him to build a Church in her honour on the spot where she had appeared. Devotion to Our Lady of the Plain grew with great fervour and faith. Just two months after the first event, local authorities, agreeing with the will of the people to build a Chapel to Our Lady of the Plain and allocated for this purpose, the many offerings of pilgrims from all over the Valdinievole area.

Another appearance, this time more crucial and decisive for the erection of the Shrine and the Marian movement resulting therefrom, occurred on10 June 1602 and was witnessed by the Priest of Monsummano, Alto Simone Casciani. On 7 July of the same year, during the celebration of the Mass, aftera long drought, the rain began to pour with abundance. The people attributed this long needed rain to their novena to Our Lady of the Plain. .

From that day, the Madonna del Piano was called: Our Lady of Fontenova. The explosion of devotion to Mary, already significant after the events of 9 June 1573, became even greater, requiring the intervention of the Grand Duke of Tuscany, Ferdinando I de ‘Medici. He ordered that the building work of the Marian Shrine proceed with speed, the first stone was laid 30 December 1602. On 13 February 1607 the Grand Duke of Tuscany approved the project for the construction of the Hostel for pilgrims to be administered by the Sanctuary.

On 8 June 1608 Cosimo de ‘Medici in fulfillment of a vow made by his father Ferdinand, crowned the Blessed Mother in a precious and costly diadem, finely crafted and carved. Experts consider it the best and most intricate example of the art of the period. This Crown was placed on the head of the Virgin Mary by the Vatican Chapter in 1782. (Apologies for this Italia translation).

St Ephrem of Syria – (Optional Memorial) “The Harp of the Holy Spirit!” Father & Doctor of the Church, Deacon and Confessor, Exegesist, Writer, Poet, Hymnographer, Theologian, Teacher, Orator, Defender of the Faith – declared Doctor of the Church in 1920 by Pope Benedict XV.
About St Ephrem!

Bl Alexander of Kouchta
St Alexander of Prusa
Blessed Anna Maria Taigi O.SS.T. (1769-1837) Religious of the Secular Trinitarians, Married laywoma, Mystic
St Arnulf of Velseca
St Baithen of Iona

St Columba of Iona (521-597) Apostle of the Picts, Apostle to Scotland, Abbot, Missionary, Evangelist, Poet, Scholar and Writer .
He should not be confused with St Columban/us (543-615) – see here:

St Comus of Scotland
St Cumian of Bobbio
St Cyrus
Bl Diana d’Andalo
St Diomedes of Tarsus
St Felicianus
Bl Henry the Shoemaker
St Jose de Anchieta
Bl Joseph Imbert
St Julian of Mesopotamia
St Luciano Verdejo Acuña
Bl Luigi Boccardo
St Maximian of Syracuse
St Pelagia of Antioch
St Primus
St Richard of Andria
Bl Robert Salt
Bl Sylvester Ventura
St Valerius of Milan
St Vincent of Agen

Martyrs of Arbil – 5 saints: Five nuns who were martyred together in the persecutions of Tamsabur for refusing to renounce Christianity for sun-worship – Amai, Mariamne, Martha, Mary and Tecla. They were beheaded on 31 May 347 at Arbil, Assyria (in modern Kurdistan, Iraq).