Thought for the Day – 19 June– Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Confidence in the Providence of God
“An excessive pre-occupation with worldly affairs may often be responsible for our lack of perfect confidence in God. We worry about tomorrow and about our many material need. But Jesus has warned us about this. “Do not be anxious for your life,” He said, “what you shall eat, nor yet for your body, what you shall wear … Look at the birds of the air – they do not sow, or reap, or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of much more value than they? … Consider how the lilies of the field grow, they neither toil nor spon, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory, was arrayed like one of these. But, if God so clothes the grass of the field, which flourishes today but tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more you, O you of little faith! Therefore, do not be anxious … But seek first the kingdom of God and his justice and all these things shall be given ou besides. Therefore, do not be anxious about tomorrow; for tomorrow will have anxieties of its own. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Cf Mt 6:25-34).
“Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? And yet, not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s leave. But, as for you, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Therefore, do not be afraid!” (Cf Mt 10:29-31).”
Quote/s of the Day – 19 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart”- Readings: Second Corinthians 12: 1-10, Psalms 34: 8-9, 10-11, 12-13, Matthew 6: 24-34
“If God so clothes the grass of the field… will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith?”
“He [Christ], protects their faith and gives strength to believers, in proportion to the TRUST, that each man, who receives that strength, is willing to place in Him.”
St Cyprian of Carthage (c 200- c 258) Bishop and Martyr, Father of the Church
“The soul’s every movement is a reminder of God, the taking of a step, the extension of the right hand, the raising of the arm, with thanks for good works, with shame for bad, for familiar conversation and public addresses, in rational discourse, in works of success, in the fervour of virtue, day and night, we are guided by You in the useful movements for our spirit, asleep or awake … ”
St Gregory of Narek (950-1003) Father & Doctor of the Church
“You first loved us so that we might love You— not because You needed our love but because, we could not be what You created us to be, except by loving You.”
William of Saint Thierry (c 1075-1148)
“What are you afraid of, you men of little faith? That He will not pardon your sins? But with His own hands He has nailed them to the cross. That you are used to soft living and your tastes are fastidious? But He knows the clay of which we are made (Gn 2:7). That a prolonged habit of sinning binds you like a chain? But the Lord loosens the shackles of prisoners. Or perhaps that angered by the enormity and frequency of your sins, He is slow to extend a helping hand? But where sin abounded, grace became superabundant (Rom 5,20). Are you worried about clothing and food and other bodily necessities s so that you hesitate to give up your possessions? But He knows that you need all these things (Mt 6,32). What more can you wish? What else is there to hold you back from the way of salvation? ”
St Bernard (1091-1153) Mellifluous Doctor of the Church
One Minute Reflection – 19 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart”- Readings: Second Corinthians 12: 1-10, Psalms 34: 8-9, 10-11, 12-13, Matthew 6: 24-34
“If God so clothes the grass of the field… will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith?” – Matthew 6:30
REFLECTION – “Today I take up my pen in the Name of God, so that my words, imprinting themselves on the white paper, may give service in perpetual praise of God, the blessed author of my life, my soul, my heart. I would like the whole Universe, with all the planets, stars and the countless sidereal systems, to be a vast smooth surface on which could be written the Name of God. I would like my voice to be stronger than a thousand thunders, more powerful than the surge of the sea, more fearful than the eruption of volcanoes, only to say the Name of God. I would like my heart to be as great as Heaven, pure as that of the Angels, guileless as that of the dove (Mt 10,16), so that it could possess God. But as none of these grandiose dreams can be realised, satisfy yourself, Brother Rafael, with little, and you who are nothing, that very nothing must suffice…
Why keep silent about it? Why hide it? Why not cry out to the whole world and proclaim to the four winds, the wonders of God? Why not say to everyone, what they would like to hear: “You see what I am? You see what I was? You see my wretchedness, dragged through the mire? No matter – marvel at it – in spite of everything, I have God. God is my Friend!” God loves me so deeply that if the whole world understood this, everyone would go mad and shout in sheer amazement. Still more, all that is but a little. God loves me so much that the Angels themselves don’t understand it! (cf. 1Pt 1,12) How great is the mercy of God! To love me, to be my Friend, my Brother, my Father, my Master. To be God! And I to be what I am!
Oh Jesus! I don’t have paper or pen. What can I say? How am I not to go mad!” – St Raphael Arnaiz Baron (1911-1938) Spanish Trappist Monk – To know how to wait, 04/03/1938
PRAYER – O my God, how great is Your love and how so can it be? For to our nothingness and taking on that garment, You sent Your Divine Son. To cleanse me and die for me! And I, then, do not understand this love?! Help me, teach me, soften my heart and open its eyes and ears that I may learn minute by minute and day by day, to love You more and more. By the prayers and love of the Blessed Virgin Mary, my Mother, that I may reach You in Heaven. Through Christ our Lord and Redeemer, with the Holy Spirit, God now and forever, amen. HEART of JESUS burning with love of us, inflame our hearts with love of Thee. – Indulgence 100 Days Once a Day – Raccolta 164 Pope Leo XIII, 16 July 1893.
Our Morning Offering – 19 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” and always a Marian Saturday
O Jesus, Mary’s Son! By St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) Doctor Angelicus, Doctor communis
Hail to Thee! True body sprung From the Virgin Mary’s womb! The same that on the cross was hung And bore for man the bitter doom. Thou Whose side was pierced and flowed Both with water and with blood. Suffer us to taste of Thee In our life’s last agony. O kind, O loving One! O Jesus, Mary’s Son! Amen
Saints of the Day – 19 June – Saints Gervase and Protase (Died c 165) Martyrs, Twin Brothers of Martyr Parents, Laymen Died c 165. Patronages – for the discovery of thieves, haymakers, Archdiocese of Perugia-Città della Pieve, Italy, City of Milan and 4 Cities. Also known as – Gervasius and Protasius
The Roman Martyrology states of them today: “In Milan, Saints Gervase and Protase. The Judge Astasius ordered that Gervase be beaten to death with leaded scourges and Protase beaten with sticks and beheaded. By divine revelation blessed Ambrose discovered their bodies, flecked with blood and incorrupt as if they had just died that day. During the translation of their bodies, a blind man gained his sight by touching the bier and many were set free who had been possessed by demons.”
Gervase and Protase were the twin sons of Martyrs. Their Father, Saint Vitalis of Milan, a man of consular dignity, suffered Martyrdom at Ravenna, possibly under Nero. Their Mother, Saint Valeria, died for her faith at Milan. When their parents died, the two brothers sold the family assets, distributed the proceeds to the poor and retired to a small house where they spent ten years in prayer and meditation. Denounced as Christians in Astasio, they were imprisoned and refusing to sacrifice to pagan gods, they were, therefore, sentenced to death. Gervase died under the blows of the scourges, Protase was instead beheaded.
The legend around our Martyrs was enriched with further clarifications: the Datiana historia eccle siae Mediolanensis states that the two saints were converted to Christianity, together with their parents, noble citizens of Milan, by the Bishop St Gaius who would have ruled the Church of the City from 63 to 85 and their Martyrdom would have occurred in the time of Nero (54-68), therefoe. a discrepancy exists as to the date of their death.
Saint Ambrose, in 386, had built a magnificent Basilica at Milan, now called the Basilica Sant’Ambrogio. Asked by the people to consecrate it in the same solemn manner as was done in Rome, he promised to do so if he could obtain the necessary relics. In a dream, he was shown the place where such relics could be found. He ordered excavations to be made outside the City, in the cemetery Church of Saints Nabor and Felix, who were at the time the primary patrons of Milan and there found the relics of Saints Gervasius and Protasius. In a letter, St Ambrose wrote: “I found the fitting signs and on bringing in some, on whom hands were to be laid, the power of the holy Martyrs became so manifest, that even whilst I was still silent, one was seized and thrown prostrate at the holy burial-place. We found two men of marvellous stature, such as those of ancient days. All the bones were perfect, and there was much blood.”
St Ambrose had their relics removed to the Basilica of Fausta (now the Church of Saints Vitalis and Agricola) and on the next day, moved into the Basilica, accompanied by many miracles, emblematic of divine favour in the context of the great struggle then taking place between St Ambrose and the Arian Empress Justina. Of the vision, the subsequent discovery of the relics and the accompanying miracles, St Ambrose wrote to his sister Marcellina describing thee events..
Saint Augustine, not yet baptised, witnessed these events and relates them in his “Confessions” (IX, vii), and in “De Civitate Dei” (XXII, viii) as well as in his “Sermon 286 in natal. “.
They are also referred to by Saint Paulinus in his life of Saint Ambrose. The latter died in 397 and by his own wish was buried in his Basilica by the side of these Twin Brpther Martyrs. The Brescia Casket was made for or used to hold the relics of all three – St Ambrose, St Gervase and St Protase.
The two Saints immediately enjoyed considerable popularity, especially in the West – they were particularly venerated in Italy, in Miam. Ravenna, in Brescia and in Rome, where, under the Pontificate of Pope Innocent I (402-417), the matron Vestina erected a dedicated Church in their honour, the current St Vitale in via Nazionale; in Gaul, in Vienne and in Rouen; in Spain, in Carmona; in Africa, in Carthage. The anniversary of the invention of their bodies soon entered the most important Calendars and Sacramentaries, such as the Carthaginian Calendar, the Gregorian Sacramentary and the Geronymian Martyrology which all remember them, unanimously, on 19 June. The Geronymian, then, also remembers them other times – 20 May (apparently due to a reading and transcription error); 28 July, the day of Saints Nazario and Celso, in whose Acts. our twin Martyrs are also remembered.
Nostra Signora d Montesenario / Our Lady of Monte Senario, Florence, Italy – Ordo Servorum Beatae Mariae Virginis (OSM) (1240) – 19 June:
The cradle of the Order of the Servants of Mary began at Monte Senario in the year 1233 in the City of Florence, Italy, by a group of Hermits now known as the Seven Holy Founders Saints of the Servite Order – Ordo Servorum Beatae Mariae Virginis (OSM). They were sons of wealthy families and they retired from the world for a life of prayer and devotion to the praises of Mary. Leaving La Camarzia, a Suburb of Florence, the seven went to Monte Senario in the region of Tuscany. Uncertain of what way of life to follow, they turned to Our Lady in prayer and supplication and she appeared to them on the Feast of the Assumption in the year 1240.
The Blessed Virgin, Our Lady of Monte Senario, presented the Seven Holy Founders with the Habit of their new Order and an Angel stood nearby bearing a scroll that was marked, “Servants of Mary.” He read to the Seven Holy Founders the following words: “You will found a new order, and you will be my witnesses throughout the world. This is your name: Servants of Mary. This is your rule: that of Saint Augustine. And here is your distinctive sign: the black scapular, in memory of my sufferings.”
From that day in 1240, the seven were known as the Servants of Mary, the Order of Servants of Mary, or the Servites. under her title of Mother of Sorrows (Italian: Madonna Addolorata) Members of the Order take solemn vows to especially honour the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The sorrows are, in order, the prophecy of Simeon, the flight into Egypt, the loss of the Holy Child at Jerusalem, meeting Jesus on His Way to Calvary, standing at te foot of the Cross, Jesus taken down from the Cross, and the burial of Christ. According to an ancient document called the “Legenda de Origin ordini,” “Our Lady wanted to begin her Order with seven men to show everyone, with absolute clarity, that she wanted to adorn her Order, endowing it with the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit.”
The Order gained official recognition in 1249 but was not officially approved until Pope Benedict IX issued a Bull in 1304. Their Church on Monte Senario, rebuilt in 1700, is a favourite resort of pilgrims from Florence especially. Mary here, as Our Lady of Monte Senario, as well as elsewhere, proves herself the miraculous Mother of God. The names of the Seven Holy Founders are Saint Alexis Falconieri, Saint Bartholomew degli Amidei, Saint Benedict dell’Antella, Saint Buonfiglio Monaldi, Saint Gherardino Sostegni, Saint Hugh dei Lippi-Uguccioni, and Saint John Buonagiunta Monetti.
St Adleida of Bergamo Bl Arnaldo of Liniberio St Culmatius of Arezzo St Deodatus of Jointures St Deodatus of Nevers St Gaudentius of Arezzo St Gervase and St Protase (Died c 165) Martyrs, Twin Brothers of Martyr Parents, Laymen St Hildegrin of Châlons-sur-Marne Bl Humphrey Middlemore St Innocent of Le Mans