Thought for the Day – 4 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood” – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The New Life
Only a Christian,” wrote Tertullian, “can be wise, sincere and lofty” (De praescriptione haereticorum, 3).
He had in mind, of course, the true follower of Jesus Christ, who is practising the precepts of Our Lord. “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with they whole heart ... Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Mt 22:37, MK 12:30, Lk 10:27). “You are to be perfect, even as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Mt 5:48).
A man who loves God above all things, can fairly be called wise. God is the supreme good and as such, should be the final end towards which we direct all our thoughts and actions. If anyone adopts his own ego or some created good as his goal in life, he is not wise because he has upset the proper scale of values. It is not true to say that we should love ourselves before anything else because we are creatures who belong to God and should refer everything to Him. Only if we love God above all things, even above ourselves, can we really be said to love ourselves. How can we love ourselves, if, in the first place, we do not love our highest good, which is God? Since this love must be active, it makes us faithful to God’s commandments and raises us above the rest of creation to a state of immediate dependence on God. A love of all mankind flows as a natural consequence from this union of love with God. If we regard all men as our brothers in Jesus Christ, we shall be perfect Christians in the manner intended by our divine Redeemer when He desires us to be like His heavenly Father. This is the new life which Jesus came to bring into the world and which we should nurture in ourselves (Cf Heb 4:23-24).”
One Minute Reflection – 3 July – Feast of St Thomas Apostle – Readings: Ephesians 2: 19-22, Psalms 117: 1bc, 2, John 20: 24-29
“Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.” – John 20:29
REFLECTION – “There was a wonderful providence behind these words of the Saviour and they can be of very great help to us. They show, once again, how much He cares for our souls, for He is good and| as Scripture says: “He wants everyone to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth” (1Tm 2,4).
Even so, this saying of His may surprise us. As always, Christ had to be patient with Thomas, when he said he would not believe and, with the other disciples too, when they thought they were seeing a ghost! Because of His desire to convince the whole world, He most willingly showed them the marks of the nails and the wound in His side; – because He wished those, who sought this evidence, as a support for their faith, to have no possible reason for doubt – He even took food, although He had no need for it (Lk 24,41)…
But when anyone accepts what he has not seen, believing on the word of his teacher, the faith, by which he honours the One his teacher proclaims to him, is worthy of great praise. Blessed, therefore, is everyone who believes the message of the holy Apostles who, as Saint Luke says, were eyewitnesses of Christ’s actions and “ministers of the word” (Lk 1,2). If we desire eternal life and long for a dwelling place in heaven, we must listen to them.” – St Cyril of Alexandria (380-444), Bishop, Father and Doctor of the Church – Commentary on Saint John’s gospel, 12, 22
PRAYER – Father, let our celebration on the feast of Saint Thomas the Apostle, be the source of his unfailing help and protection. Fill us with Your life-giving grace through our faith in Your Son, Jesus the Christ, whom Thomas acknowledged to be his Lord and his God. We make our prayer, through our Lord Jesus in union with the Holy Spirit, one God with You, forever and ever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 3 July – “Month of the Precious Blood” and a Marian Saturday
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 longing 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 – 3 July – Saint Anatolius of Constantinople (Died c 458) Bishop of Constantinople from 451 until his death on 3 July 458, Confessor. He died in 458 of unknown causes but it is believed he was martyred by heretics.
Anatolius was born at Alexandria. He was Ordained a Deacon by the great St Cyril of Alexandria and was present at the Third Ecumenical Council at Ephesus in the year 431.
He became Bishop of Constantinople through the influence of Pope Dioscorus I of Alexandria with Emperor Theodosius II, after the deposition of Flavian by the Second Council of Ephesus. After his Consecration, Anatolius publicly condemned the teachings not only of Eutyches,but also those of Nestorius, subscribing to the letters of St Cyril against Nestorius and of Pope Leo I against Eutyches.
In conjunction with Pope Leo, he requested that the Emperor Marcian summon a general Council against Dioscorus and the Eutychians but the Imperial letter instructing Anatolius in the preparations for the Council of Chalcedon, only mentions Pope Leo. In this Council, Anatolius presided in conjunction with the Roman legates. By the famous 28th Canon, passed at the conclusion of the Council, Constantinople was made equal in dignity with Rome, “second in eminence and power to the Bishop of Rome.” This displaced the traditional order of authority of the much older Sees of Antioch and Alexandria. Hence arose the controversy between Anatolius and the Roman Pontiff. However, the third Canon of the earlier First Council of Constantinople of 381 stated that “The Bishop of Constantinople, however, shall have the prerogative of honour after the Bishop of Rome because Constantinople is New Rome.” The Eastern position could be characterised as being political in nature, as opposed to a doctrinal view.
Leo complained to Marcian and to Pulcheria that Anatolius had over-stepped his jurisdiction by consecrating Maximinus II as Bishop of Antioch.
Following the Council of Chalcedon, Anatolius received a letter signed by several Egyptian Bishops, asking his assistance against Timothy, who was usurping the Bishopric of Alexandria, as a result Anatolius wrote to the Emperor Leo, against Timothy. The circular of the Emperor requesting the advice of Anatolius on the turbulent state of Alexandria is extant.
When he was in danger of death he was restored to health by St Daniel the Stylite, who came to Constantinople to see him.
The followers of Dioscorus are said to have murdered him in 458.
Notre-Dame-de-la-Carole / Our Lady of la Carole, Paris (1418) – 3 July:
Roadside Shrines can still be seen in places all over Europe, though it is nothing like it used to be in the Middle Ages when these Shrines were extremely prevalent. They were public reminders of God and His Saints and were meant for the good of the general public, who would come upon the Shrine and pause for a moment to pray. They could be simple or somewhat elaborate, ranging from unadorned crosses to free standing towers or even small Chapels. On 3 July in the year 1418, a Swiss soldier committed a sacrilege upon a Statue of the Blessed Virgin known as Our Lady of la Carole, or Our Lady of Carole. It was located at the corner of the Rue aux Ours, which was built in the 13th century and terminated at the hospital of Saint John, which is no longer in existence. The Rue aux Ours is now a short street that begins at Rue Saint-Martin and ends at the Boulevard Sebastopol in Paris, France. The soldier of the Duke of Burgandy’s troops, said to be a Swiss soldier, came upon the Shrine of the Blessed Virgin after having left a tavern where he had gambled away his money. He was probably intoxicated when he drew his sword and repeatedly struck the Statue of the Blessed Virgin with the weapon. The Statue of Our Lady of Carole then began to bleed profusely, as if made of flesh and blood and WAS wounded by the blows. The citizens who had observed the sacrilege were outraged and followed the soldier as he fled from the scene of his crime. The man was eventually caught and apprehended and then brought before the Chancellor where he was sentenced to death for the outrage.
In remembrance of this incident and in expiation for the crime, there was a popular feAST that took place on the Rue aux Ours every year. There were fireworks and a wax figure representing the sacrilegious wretch who had struck the image of the Blessed Virgin was set ablaze. This festival continued until the French Revolution brought an end to the traditional observance.
St Anatolius of Constantinople (Diedc 458) Bishop Bl Andreas Ebersbach Bl Barbara Jeong Sun-mae St Bladus St Byblig St Cillene St Dathus of Ravenna St Eusebius of Laodicea St Firminus St Firmus Bl Gelduin St Giuse Nguyen Ðình Uyen St Gunthiern St Guthagon St Heliodorus of Altinum St Hyacinth of Caesarea St Ioannes Baptista Zhao Mingxi St Irenaeus of Chiusi
St Maelmuire O’Gorman St Mark of Mesia St Mennone the Centurian St Mucian of Mesia St Paul of Mesia St Petrus Zhao Mingzhen St Philiphê Phan Van Minh St Raymond of Toulouse (Died 1118) Layman — Martyrs of Alexandria – 13 saints: Thirteen Christian companions marytred together. No details about them have survived but the names – Apricus, Cyrion (2 of), Eulogius, Hemerion, Julian, Julius, Justus, Menelaus, Orestes, Porfyrios and Tryphon (2 of). They martyred in Alexandria, Egypt, date unknown.
Martyrs of Constantinople – 24 saints: A group of 24 Christians martyred in the persecutions of Arian emperor Valens. We know little more than their names – Acacios, Amedinos, Ammonius, Ammus, Cerealis, Cionia, Cionius, Cyrianus, Demetrius, Eulogius (2), Euphemia, Heliodoros, Heraclios, Horestes, Jocundus, Julian, Martyrios, Menelaeus, Sestratus, Strategos, Thomas, Timotheos and Tryphon. They were martyred in c367 in Constantintinople.
Theodotus and Companions – 6 saints: Six Christians who were imprisoned, tortured and martyred together in the persecutions of Trajan. Saint Hyacinth ministered to them in prison. We know nothing else about them but their names – Asclepiodotus, Diomedes, Eulampius, Golinduchus, Theodota and Theodotus. They were beheaded in c110, location unknown.