Thought for the Day – 7 July – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Salvation of Souls
“We have only to look around us to realise the sad state of the greater part of human society. Men may be divided into three principal categories – the evil, the indifferent and the good. The evil are very numerous. The Holy Spirit tells us that the number of fools is infinite (Eccles 1:15). Now, the greatest and most real folly, is sin because, sin offends God, our supreme good, our Creator and Redeemer and because, it endangers the salvation of the soul. Nevertheless, countless sins are committed. There is an immense number of people who commit sin not merely through human frailty but who have abandoned God absolutely by denying or insulting Him and by striving to eradicate Him from the consciousness of their fellow-men. Their God is themselves!
The second group is that of the indifferent, those for whom God, religion and the supernatural are quite unimportant. They are content to lead materialistic lives without any thought of eternity. It is enough for them to be able to live, make money and to enjoy themselves. Nothing else matters. Their God is the world and its goods! The number of such people is increasing at an alarming rate.
Lastly, there are the good people who desire to become more and more perfect. Unfortunately, there are very few of these now and one would like to see them displaying greater generosity and enthusiasm for the salvation of those around them.
To which group do you belong? Perhaps you have not yet made up your mind completely to dedicate yourself to the pursuit of sanctity? Perhaps you are still wavering between the alternatives of good and evil? Anyone who remains inactive, becomes an accomplish!”
Quote/s of the Day – 7 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood” – Readings: Genesis 41: 55-57; 42: 5-7a, 17-24a, Psalms 33: 2-3, 10-11, 18-19, Matthew 10: 1-7
“Jesus summoned his Twelve disciples and gave them authority … “
“Speak Lord for your servant hears.”
1 Samuel 3:10
“A person who wishes to become the Lord’s disciple must repudiate a human obligation, however honourable it may appear, if it slows us, ever so slightly, in giving the wholehearted obedience we owe to God.”
St Basil the Great (329-379) Father and Doctor of the Church
“He wants you to become a living force for all mankind, lights shining in the world. You are to be radiant lights as you stand beside Christ, the Great Light, bathed in the glory of Him who is the Light of Heaven.”
St Gregory Nazianzen (330-390) Father & Doctor of the Church
“Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you.”
St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor of the Church
“What a tragedy, how many souls are being shut out of heaven and falling into hell, thanks to you!”
One Minute Reflection – 7 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood” – Readings: Genesis 41: 55-57; 42: 5-7a, 17-24a, Psalms 33: 2-3, 10-11, 18-19, Matthew 10: 1-7
“Go rather to the lost sheep”– Matthew 10:6
REFLECTION – “Christ came in search of the one sheep that was lost (Mt 18:12). It was for this sheep that the Good Shepherd, promised from eternity, was sent in time, for this one that He was born and given. This sheep is one alone, taken out from among the Jews and from peoples … taken out of all nations; one in its mystery, many in persons; according to its body by nature, one according to its spirit by grace, in short, a single sheep and a multitude without number. That is why He Who came to seek the one sheep was sent “to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Mt 15:24) … Now, whoever the Shepherd acknowledges as His own “no-one can take them out of his hands” (Jn 10:28). For no-one can force the powerful, deceive wisdom, or destroy charity.
That is why He speaks with confidence when He says: “Father, I have lost none of those you have given me” (cf. Jn 17:11-12) … And so, He was sent as truth for the deceived, path for the straying, life for the dead, wisdom for the ignorant, medicine for the sick, ransom for captives and food for those dying of hunger. In the person of all these, it could be said, that He was sent to “the lost sheep of the house of Israel” that they might not be lost forever. – Blessed Isaac of Stella O.Cist. (c 1100 – c 1170) – Sermon 35
PRAYER – Holy God and Almighty Father, we are the disciples of Your Son as we follow Him home to You, grant us we pray, the strength and love to imitate Him in all things and to daily, pick up our cross with joy and commitment. May the Blessed Virgin, be a constant protection and assistance in our times of struggle and may all your Angels , the Apostles and Saints and Martyrs, pray for us, through our Lord Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, God for always and forever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 7 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood”
Constant Prayer to the Precious Blood of Jesus By St Catherine of Siena (1347-1380) Doctor of the Church
Precious Blood, Ocean of Divine Mercy, Flow upon us! Precious Blood, most pure Offering, Procure us every grace! Precious Blood, Hope and Refuge of sinners, Atone for us! Precious Blood, Delight of holy souls, Draw us! Amen
Saint of the Day – 7 July – St Willibald of Eichstatt (c.700 – 787) Bishop of Eichstätt, Prince, Missionary Born on 21 October 700 in Wessex, England and died on 7 July 781 of natural causes. Also known as Willebald. Patronages – Diocese and City of of Eichstätt, Germany.
Information about his life is largely drawn from the Hodoeporicon (itinerary) of Saint Willibald, a text written in the 8th century by Sister Huneberc, an Anglo-Saxon Nun from Heidenheim am Hahnenkamm who knew Willibald and his brother personally. The text of the Hodoeporicon was dictated to Huneberc by Willibald himself, shortly before he died.
At the age of three, Willibald suffered from a violent illness. His parents prayed to God, vowing to commit Willibald to a monastic life if he was to be spared. Willibald survived and at the age of five entered the Benedictine monastery at Waldheim) and was educated by Abbot Egwald. At the monastery he became accustomed to the Irish and Anglo-Saxon monastic ideal of peregrinatio religiosa, or pious rootlessness
In 721 Willibald set out on a pilgrimage to Rome with his Father and Brother. After departing by ship, the group arrived in Rouen, France visiting Shrines and spending much of their time in prayer. Eventually they arrived in Lucca, a City in northern Italy. It was here that Willibald’s Father became gravely ill and died. After burying their Father, Willibald and Winibald continued on their journey, travelling through Italy until they reached Rome. Here they visited the Lateran Basilica and St. Peter’s. They spent some time in Italy, strengthening in devotion and discipline but soon the two brothers became ill with the Black Plague.
Sr Hunebrec recounts the disease and miraculous recovery:
“Then with the passing of the days and the increasing heat of the summer, which is usually a sign of future fever, they were struck down with sickness. They found it difficult to breathe, fever set in and at one moment they were shivering with cold, the next burning with heat. They had caught the black plague. So great a hold had it got on them, that, scarcely able to move, worn out with fever and almost at the point of death, the breath of life had practically left their bodies. But God in His never failing providence and fatherly love deigned to listen to their prayers and come to their aid, so that each of them rested in turn for one week whilst they attended to each other’s needs.“
Willibald left Rome in 724, heading for Naples. From there, accompanied by two unnamed companions and his Brother, he departed by sea, visited Sicily and Greece along the way, and eventually arrived in Asia Minor. Winnebald had, after the departure of his Brother for Palestine, lived in a Monastery at Rome. In Palestine, Willibald visited all the Holy places of the life of Christ.
He then visted Constantinople and finally arrived at Monte Cassino where he joined he Benedictine Monks. Willibald would spend over ten years (c 729–739) at Monte Cassino, helping Saint Petronax restore the Monastery, learning their monastic discipline and administration and acting, dyring those years as a Sacristan, a porter and a auxiallary to the Abbot, It happened that in 738 Saint Boniface, visiting Rome, asked of Pope Gregory III if Willibald might be sent to assist him in his missions in Germany. The Pope desired to see the Monk,and was much delighted with the history of his travels and acquainted him with Boniface’s request.
Upon arriving at Eichstätt, Willibald was Ordained a Priest by Boniface on 22 July 741and asked to begin missionary work in the area. A year later, Boniface summoned him to Thuringia. While travelling, Willibald encountered his brother, Winibald, whom he had not seen for over eight years.
Shortly thereafter, he returned to Eichstätt to begin his work. In 742 he and Winibald founded the double Monastery of Heidenheim. Winibald served as the first Abbot. Following his death, Willibald’s sister, Saint Walburga, was appointed the first Abbess of the Monastery. In 746 Boniface Consecrated Willibald Bishop of Eichstätt.
Eichstätt was the site of Willibald’s most successful missionary efforts, although specific details like the means of conversion and number of converts are not known. The Monastery was one of the first buildings in the region and served as an important centre, “not only for the Diocesan apostolate but also for the diffusion and development of monasticism.” Willibald served as the Bishop of the region in Franconia for over four decades, living in the Monastery and entertaining visitors, from various countries throughout Europe ,who would come to hear of his journeys and monasticism.
Willibald died on 7 July 781. His relics are kept in a marble reliquary urn in Saint Willibald Cathedral, Eichstätt, Germany, which was completed in 1269. He was Canonised in 938 by Pope Leo VII.
Onze Zoeten Dame van Den Bosch , Arras / Our Lady of Arras, Netherlands (1380) – 7 July:
The image known as the “Kind Mother” at Sint Hertogenbosch, or “Our Sweet Lady” of Den Bosch, as she is also known in the north Brabant Province of the Netherlands, was an object of derision when it was first heard of in 1380. It had been found dirty and damaged in a builder’s junk-yard, but it soon became celebrated for the wonders connected with it. It was in 1380, when Saint John’s Cathedral was being renovated, that the Statue was found. An apprentice stone mason, was looking for wood for his fire when he uncovered a scruffy wooden Statue in the rubble. The Statue was in such poor conditio, that he didn’t recognise it as the Mother of God. The mason in charge somehow recognised Her, even without the Infant Jesus in her arms. The Statue was placed on the Altar of Saint Martin, in the Cathedral,but the faithful did not like it and were upset that such a dilapidated Statue was exposed for veneration. It wasn’t long before one of the Priests attempted to remove the Statue but found that it had become so heavy, that he could not move it. It was soon noted, though, that any who spoke disapprovingly of the Statue became weak, fainted, or had nightmares. One woman mocked the Statue, and became partially paralysed. That night, she had a vision of Our Lord, who ordered her to repair the Statue and honour it. The next day she was able to drag herself to the Cathedral to begin the work. At the end of each day, she was able to walk a little more. It was an entire year later when a Brother Wout ,found the missing image of the Infant Jesus that berlonged to the Statue. Local children were using if for a toy but now the Statue was reunited and complete. There were still some who ridiculed the Statue but now they fainted on the spot. Many experienced strange pains, headaches,and even indigestion. On the other hand, those who prayed before the Statue received a cure of their illnesses and otherwise were greatly favoured. Due to the presence of the Statue, the Church became a place of pilgrimage. Emperor Maximilian, Holy Roman Emperor, and King Fernando of Castile were among the notables who visited the miraculous Statue. The Statue of Our Sweet Lady is of oak and is nearly four feet tall and is of an unusual pattern – Our Lady stands upright, while her forearms are extended at right angles to her body. The Child is balanced on her left hand and in her right she holds an apple. The dedication of the new Church of Our Lady of Arras occurred in the year 1484 by Bishop Peter de Ranchicourt, who was Bishop of that City. The first Church which had been built at the site had been constructed by Saint Vaast, who had been the Bishop of Arras, in the year 542, using the liberal donations of the first Kings of France. The desolation caused by the Calvinists began in 1566 and many Churches were plundered. The Kind Mother was hidden and saved from the destruction. Years later, when the City was seized by the Spanish, two Carmelites took the Statue to Bishop Ophovius, who gave it to one of the women of the parish to safeguard. Eventually it was feared that the Statue of the Kind Lady would not be safe if it stayed were it was and so, it was decided to take the Statue to Brussels for safety. The Statue had to be hidden and was placed in a chest and smuggled through the Town gates. It was then taken to St Geradus’s Church in Belgium before being taken to Koudenberg Church in Brussels. It wasn’t until the year 1810 when the Cathedral at Den Bosch was returned to the Catholics by Napoleon. Then, it took the prolonged efforts of Bishop J. Zwijsen, the Bishop of Hertogenbosh, to have the beloved Statue of Our Sweet Lady returned to his Cathedral in 1878. It was Crowned by the grateful Bishop in the name of Pope Leo XIII that same year and the Feast is 7 July with proper Mass and Office in certain places.
INTERESTING NOTE: Around 7% of the men in the Netherlands are called Maria. Yes, over 1/20 of Dutch men are named after the Virgin Mary. In 1954, a Marian Year, 17% of Dutch men where named after the Blessed Virgin. Incidentally, most of those men named Mary live in or around Den Bosch, and Mary is one of the Patron Saints of this beautiful City.
St Alexander St Angelelmus of Auxerre St Antonino Fantosati St Apollonius of Brescia
Blessed Pope Benedict XI OP (1240-1303) Cardinal-Priest of St Sabina, Bishop of Ostia then of Rome, Dominican Friar, Prior Provincial of Lombardy prior to becoming the Master of the Order in 1296, Apostolic Papal Legate to Hungary and France, Teacher, Preacher, Writer and renowned Scholar with special emphasis on Biblical commentary. His Papacy began on 22 Ocober 1303 and ended at his death on 7 July 1304. His Life: https://anastpaul.com/2020/07/07/saint-of-the-day-7-july-blessed-pope-benedict-xi-1240-1303/
Bl Bodard of Poitiers St Bonitus of Monte Cassino St Carissima of Rauzeille St Eoaldus of Vienne St Ethelburga of Faremoutier Bl Francisco Polvorinos Gómez St Hedda of Wessex Bl Joseph Juge de Saint-Martin Bl Juan Antonio Pérez Mayo Bl Juan Pedro del Cotillo Fernández Bl Justo González Lorente St Maelruan Bl Manuel Gutiérrez Martín St Marcus Ji Tianxiang Bl María del Consuelo Ramiñán Carracedo
St Prosper of Aquitaine St Syrus of Genoa St Th St Willibald of Eichstätt (c.700 – 787) Bishop, Prince, Missionary — Martyrs of Durres – 7 saints: Also known as – Martyrs of Dyrrachium/ Martyrs of Durazzo. A group of seven Italian Christians who fled Italy to escape the persecutions of emperor Hadrian. Arrived in Dyrrachium, Macedonia to find Saint Astius tied to a cross, covered in honey, laid in the sun and left to be tortured by biting and stinging insects. When they expressed sympathy for Astius, they were accused of being Christians, arrested, chained, weighted down, taken off shore and drowned. We know little more about each of them than their names – Germaus, Hesychius, Lucian, Papius, Peregrinus, Pompeius and Saturninus. They were born in Italy and were martyred at sea c117 off the coast of Dyrrachium (Durazzo), Macedonia (modern Durres, Albania).