Thought for the Day – 15 June – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Steadfastness in Suffering
“We are all obliged to suffer in soul and body. Suffering begins at birth and ends at death. “The whole life of a Christian is a cross,” (Sermon 31) says St Augustine. For this reason, we have to develop the virtue of patience. “Let patience have it’s perfect work,” says St James, “that you may be perfect and entire” (Js 1:4). If we are to be perfect, we must accept suffering and trials from the hands of God and offer them to Him in a spirit of harmony with His holy will. In this way, all our actions become valuable, for they are acts of reparation and of love, which will be rewarded in Heaven. Both our joys and our sorrows are sanctified, if we offer them to God, Who arranges everything for our own good. The Saints longed to suffer because, they loved God and knew that suffering is the only true way in which we can prove our love. Suffering is the best medicine for the soul, for when it is endured with patience, it purifies us and prepares us for Heaven. “If God does not punish you for our sins,” says St Augustine, “it is a sign that you are no longer counted among His sons” (De Pastoribus liber unus, c 5). “Whom the Lord loves, he chastises,” St Paul writes “and, he scourges every son whom he receives” (Heb 12:6).
Suffering is, in fact, a gift from God. It reminds us that we have not been created for this world but for Heaven, in preparation for which, we must carry our cross with patience in the footsteps of Jesus. No matter what we do, we must suffer. Either we bear trials patiently and gain an increase of merit, or we rebel against them and gain no merit at all. When we suffer, let us think of the two thieves, both of whom were tortured in the same way. But the good thief accepted his torments with patience in reparation for his sins and was saved, while the bad thief, rebelled against his sufferings and was most probably damned forever!”
Quote/s of the Day – 15 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Readings: Second Corinthians 8: 1-9, Psalms 146: 2, 5-6ab, 6c-7, 8-9a, Gospel: Matthew 5: 43-48
“But I say to you, love your enemies”
“You don’t love in your enemies what they are but what you would have them become, by your prayers!”
St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor
“BE NOT troubled about those who are with you or against you but take care that God be with you in everything you do. Keep your conscience clear and God will protect you, for the malice of man cannot harm one whom God wishes to help. If you know how to suffer in silence, you will undoubtedly experience God’s help. He knows when and how to deliver you, therefore, place yourself in His hands, for it is a divine prerogative to help men and free them from all distress. … It is the humble man, whom God protects and liberates; it is the humble, whom He loves and consoles. To the humble, He turns and upon them bestows great grace, that after their humiliation, He may raise them up to glory.”
Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)
“We must show love for those who do evil to us and pray for them. Nothing is dearer or more pleasing to God than this.”
St Bridget of Sweden (c 1303-1373)
“ … All men are our brothers – not excluding even those who hate and attack us. … ”
One Minute Reflection –15 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Readings: Second Corinthians 8: 1-9, Psalms 146: 2, 5-6ab, 6c-7, 8-9a, Gospel: Matthew 5: 43-48
“ Your Father, … makes his sun to rise upon the good,and bad and rains upon the just and the unjust.” – Matthew 5:45
REFLECTION –“Proclaim the goodness of God. For even while you are unworthy, He guides you and when you owe Him everything, He asks for nothing back and in return for the little things you do for Him, He repays you with great things! Therefore, do not simply call God “just” since it is not with regard to what you yourself do, that He reveals His justice. If David calls Him just and right (Ps 33,5), His Son has revealed to us, that He is yet more kind and gentle: “He is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked,” (Lk 6,35).
How can you possibly remain at the level of God’s simple justice when you read the chapter about the workmen’s wages? “My friend, I am not cheating you. I wish to give this last one the same as you. Are you envious because I am generous?” (Mt 20,13-15). How can one say no more, than that God is just when one reads the chapter about the prodigal son, who squandered his father’s wealth in a life of dissipation and how, at the merest sign of compunction shown by him, his father ran to him, threw his arms round him and granted him full rights over all his wealth? (cf Lk 15,11ff.). It was not some other who told us all this about God, causing us to have doubts about it. It is His Son in person -He Himself gave this testimony concerning God. So where is God’s justice to be found? Is it not in this: “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us,” (Rom 5,8)? If God reveals Himself to be compassionate here below, then let us believe, that He will be so for all eternity.” – St Isaac the Syrian of Nineveh (c 613- c 700) Bishop of Nineveh, Monk at Mosul – Ascetical discourses, 1st. series, no.60
PRAYER – Almighty God, to whom this world, with all it’s goodness and beauty belongs, give us grace joyfully, to begin this day for Christ Your Son, in Him and with Him and to fill it, with an active love for all Your children, even those who may not like or who do us harm. Help us to love as You do, so that we may become like You. Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, one God, forever, amen. OUR Lady of the Sacred Heart, pray for us. Indulgence 100 Days. Raccolta 174 St Pius X, 9 July 1904.
Our Morning Offering – 15 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart”
Be the Heart of My Heart By St John Eudes (1501-1680) Apostle of the Sacred Heart
O Heart all lovable and all loving of my Saviour, be the Heart of my heart, the Soul of my soul, the Spirit of my spirit, the Life of my life and the sole principle of all my thoughts, words and actions, of all the faculties of my soul and of all my senses, both interior and exterior. Amen
St John Eudes is the author of the Proper for the Mass and Divine Office of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ and the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin. St John was an ardent proponent of the Sacred Heart and dedicated himself to it’s promotion and celebration. The Masses he compiled for both the Sacred Heart of Jesus and for the Immaculate Heart of Mary, were both first celebrated during his lifetime. He preached missions across France, including Paris and Versailles, while earning recognition as a popular evangelist and confessor. St John Eudes was also a prolific writer and wrote on the two Holy Hearts despite opposition from the Jansenists.
Saint of the Day – 15 June – Blessed Pietro Nolasco Perra OdeM (1574-1606) Priest of the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy (the Mercedarian Friars), Missionary. Born in Gergei, Sardinia, Sicily in 1574 as Pietro Giovanni Perra and died in Valencia, Spain on 15 June 1606 of natural causes aged 32.
The Order of Mercedaries was founded in Spain by St Peter Nolasco (1180-1245), with the main purpose of the ‘redemption’ of the Christians enslaved by the Arab Moors and brought to the Muslim countries of North Africa. After the era of Arab domination, the Order continued its apostolic work and evangelisation, spreading to all the countriess of Europe, but also to America (with Christopher Columbus there were also some Mercedarian Chaplains); -by now the ‘redemption’ was intended, above all, as liberation from the sin of the misled souls. As for Italy, the first Convent was founded in Cagliari in Sardinia, at that time subject to the Aragonese dominion and it was King Alfonso IV of Aragon in 1335 who made it a gift to the Order. Then in 1442 Naples followed and in 1463 Palermo and little by little foundations followed in other cities of Italy, including, in 1569 that of St Rufina in Rome, followed by the convent of St Adrian. And from the ancient Convent of the Blessed Virgin Mother of Bonaria in Cagliari, the Order received the gift of a holy figure of a Mercedarian Friar, Pietro Nolasco Perra.
He was sent to Valencia to continue his studies and in this City in 1603, he was Ordained a Priest. Documents of the time attest his presence in Valencia on 6 July 1604 and in the following years, in the Chapter meetings for the admission of other religious to the Order.
He was an example of the interior life, of obedience and humility in brotherly love. During the celebration of his Mass, the faithful who participated, were moved by the great devotion with which he prayed. He had words of comfort and encouragement for anyone who approached him, especially during Confession.
He died in Valencia at the age of only 32, on 15 June 1606, leaving behind the fame of a saint;. One of his companions, Fra ‘Machin, an eminent scholar, narrated that Fra’ Pietro Nolasco Perra on the verge of death, asked his superiors to command him to die, so that his death would be the daughter of obedience and thus have greater merits before God. Two years after his departure, collections of documentation and testimonies of those who had known him were opened, by order of the Archbishop of Cagliari, Msgr. Francesco Desquivel.
Two years after his death, the Archbishop of Cagliari, Francisco Desquivel began to collect information in order to start the Beatification process – from these data it is clear, that even in his native country, in contact with objects that belonged to him, there were numerous and miraculous occurences. The process of Beatification was thus initiated.
In 1652 a delegation was sent to Valencia to obtain some relics of “santu Impera” (Sician dialect) – fragments of his clothes and an arm were thus brought to the island. At the same time, a Church began to be built in his hometown, so that, as soon as Pietro Nolasco Perra was declared a saint, the saint and his relics could be publicly venerated in a suitable place. However, at the beginning of the 18th century, the Beatification process ran aground due to the mysterious disappearance of the file and, for the same reason, has not resumed.
The search for that dossier is currently underway, also because the Sardinian Catholic world, led by Bishop Antioco Piseddu , is asking for the investigation to be reopened. According to some sources, Pietro is currently only a Servant of God and Venerable but he is remembered by the Mercedarian Order as Blessed and celebrates him today.
Our Lady of the Taper of Cardigan (1100s)– 15 June:
During the middle ages there was a notable pilgrimage in honour of Our Lady in Cardigan. A beautiful legend describes how a Statue of Mary was found by the side of the river Teifi, “and her sonne upon her lappe and the taper bernynge in her hande.” It was taken to the Parish Church but would not remain there, returning three or four times to “the place where now is buyIded the Church of our Lady,” the present St.Mary’s Church. A chantry Priest sang Mass daily in honour of Our Lady for pilgrims who came to pray and leave gifts. They lodged with the Knights Hospitallers of S. John, where the Angel Hotel now stands.
St Mary’s dates from 1158, built to hold the Statue. It resembles an earlier Shrine in the city of Arras, which was then in Flanders. Did Flemish merchants, who settled in Cardigan and traded in Welsh wool out of the port, bring the Statue back with them?
Devotion to Mary was once universal in Wales. Many places are called Llanfair or Capel Mair (Mary’s Church, Chapel) and dozens of flowers and plants bear her name. No girl was given the name Mair (Mary), as it was reserved for Our Lady.
We do not know how the devotion transferred to Barcelona and Cagliari. In the 1320’s and 1330’s Catalonian sailors had thronged British waters. Did they come to Cardigan, see the Shrine and copy it? In 1904 Breton Monks, in exile near Cardigan, revived the devotion, giving the title Our Lady of Cardigan to their Abbey Church and also to the little Church they opened in Town in 1912. They left in 1916 and another generation passed before the name was heard again.
In 1952 Martin Gillett, who later was to found the Ecumenical Society of the Blessed Virgin Mary, told Bishop Petit that Cardigan had once possessed a famous Shrine. The Bishop instantly decided to restore it. In 1956 a new Statue was blessed by Cardinal Griffin in Westminster Cathedral and then taken to every Parish in the Diocese of Menevia before arriving in Cardigan. On 27 May 1956, a great concourse from all parts of Britain bore it to the little Church of Our Lady of Sorrows. On 23 July 1970 Bishops Petit and Fox consecrated the new church of Our Lady of the Taper, named after the Shrine. Three days later pilgrims transferred the Statue there.
The original Statue was taken to London and destroyed at Chelsea in 1538 along with other Marian images on the orders of Thomas Cromwell, 1st Earl of Essex, Chief Minister of King Henry VIII. Mother Concordia, OSB, was asked to make another in bronze. Designated as a Welsh National Shrine of Our Lady, it was blessed in Cardiff Metropolitan Cathedral and brought all over Wales before, on Pentecost Sunday, 18 May 1986, it was solemnly installed in the presence of 4,500 pilgrims. Its beauty catches the imagination and arouses devotion. Pope John Paul II wrote a special message for the occasion, and a taper he blessed in Rome was placed in the hand of the statue and lit.
Its symbolism is that Mary presents her Son to us, as she did to the Wise Men, to be adored. The taper testifies that He is Light of the World. Pilgrims come to pray individually and in groups. May they learn to treasure the word of God in their hearts, as Mary did, and live by the light of her Son, who is her Saviour and ours.
St Abraham of Saint-Cyriacus St Achaicus of Corinth St Barbara Cui Lianshi St Benildis of Córdoba
St Bernard of Montjoux/Menthon CRSA (c 1020-1081) “Apostle of the Alps” Priest, Founder of a patrol that cleared robbers from the mountains and he established hospices for travellers and pilgrims. The large dogs, trained to search for lost victims in the mountains, are named for him. Patronages – Alpinists, Alps (proclaimed by Pope Pius XI on 20 August 1923), Campiglia Cervo, Italy, mountain climbers (proclaimed by Pope Pius XI on 20 August 1923), mountaineers, skiers, travellers in the mountains (proclaimed by Pope Pius XI on 20 August 1923). Biography: https://anastpaul.com/2018/06/15/saint-of-the-day-15-june-st-bernard-of-menthon-c-r-s-a-c-1020-1081-apostle-of-the-alps/
St Constantine of Beauvais St Domitian of Lobbes St Edburgh of Winchester St Eigil St Eutropia of Palmyra St Fortunatus of Corinth
St Hadelinus of Lobbes St Hesychius of Durostorum St Hilarion of Espalion Bl Juan Rodriguez St Julius of Durostorum St Landelin of Crespin St Leonides of Palmyra St Libya of Palmyra St Lotharius of Séez St Melan of Viviers St Orsisius Bl Pedro da Teruel Bl Peter Snow St Pierre de Cervis Blessed Pietro Nolasco Perra OdeM (1574-1606) Bl Ralph Grimston St Tatian of Cilicia Bl Thomas Scryven St Trillo of Wales St Vaughen of Ireland
St Vitus (c 290-c 303) – Martyr, One of the Seven Holy Helpers. Died aged 12-13 years of age. Patronages – against animal attacks, against dog bites, against epilepsy; epileptics, against lightning, against over-sleeping, against rheumatic chorea or Saint Vitus Dance, against snake bites, against storms, against wild beasts, of actors, comedians, dancers, dogs, Bohemia, Czech Republic, Serbia, 17 cities. His very short life: https://anastpaul.com/2017/06/15/saint-of-the-day-15-june-st-vitus/
St Vouga of Lesneven — Martyr of Lucania – 11 saints: Eleven Christians martyred together. We known nothing else about them but the names – Anteon, Candidus, Cantianilla, Cantianus, Chrysogonus, Jocundus, Nivitus, Protus, Quintianus, Silvius, Theodolus in Lucania (modern Basilicata), Italy, date unknown.