Thought for the Day – 10 July – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Give Us this Day Our Daily Bread”
“In the second part of the Lord’s Prayer, we ask the universal Father, on behalf of ourselves and of our brethren, for all things necessary for soul and body. Since we have already paid homage to God, our Creator and our Redeemer and, have prayed for the triumph of His kingdom and for the accomplishment of His will in Heaven and on earth, Our Lord does not forbid us to think now of ourselves and to pray for our own needs. “Give us this day our daily bread,” we ask, intending to pray, both for our spiritual and material requirements.
We should not delude ourselves into imagining that it is we who produce the fruits of the earth. A grain of wheat dies beneath the soil but God has infused into it, a mysterious force as a result of which, in dying, it generates new life.
The moisture of the soil, the warmth of the air and the light of the sun combine to develop this mysterious life-force, which produces the green stalk and then the flaxen ear of corn which provides us with bread. It is God Who has given this vital power to this tiny seed, as well as to all the other seeds of the soil. It is He Who has endowed the soil with the nutritive elements from which the seeds draw life and it is He, Who sends the dew, the rain and the sunshine, which cause the flowers to blossom and the plants to bear fruit.
We should ask God humbly, therefore, to “give us this day our daily bread.” Our own labours would be futile without the intervention of the all-powerful Creator. We are capable, neither of producing, nor of destroying a single atom nor a single seedling. Without God, we are incapable of achieving anything, either inthe natural or in the supernatural order. Therefore, we must ask Him to provide us with what we need. He is supremely good and loves us very much. His Providence will not leave us in want, even if we are often obliged to work hard in co-operation with Him to procure the necessaries of life. The birds have no granary, yet they manage to find enough seed to keep them alive because God is watching over them. How could we suppose, that He will not look after us, if we turn to Him with trust and perseverance?”
Quote/s of the Day – 10 July – “Month of the Precious Blood” – Readings: enesis 49: 29-32; 50: 15-26a; Psalm 105: 1-2, 3-4, 6-7; Matthew 10: 24-33
“The very hairs of your head are numbered.”
“I see clearly with the interior eye, that the sweet God loves, with a pure love, the creature that He has created and has a HATRED for nothing but SIN, which is more opposed to Him, than can be thought or imagined.”
St Catherine of Genoa (1447-1510)
“Every moment comes to us, pregnant with a command from God, only to pass on and plunge into eternity, there to remain forever, what we have made of it!”
St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor Caritatis
“Oh! My God, how much Your Hand was upon me and yet how little I was aware of it! How good You are! How good You are! How You protected me! How you covered me with Your wings, when I did not even believe in Your existence!”
Bl Charles of Jesus de Foucauld (1858-1916)
“Let us go forward in peace, our eyes upon heaven, the only one goal of our labours.”
St Thérèse of the Child Jesus (1873-1897) Doctor of the Church
One Minute Reflection – 10 July – “Month of the Precious Blood” – Readings: enesis 49: 29-32; 50: 15-26a; Psalm 105: 1-2, 3-4, 6-7; Matthew 10: 24-33
“Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge.” – Matthew 10:29
REFLECTION – “In this passage, Jesus demonstrates His foresight in all things. The word “without” refers, not to will but to foreknowledge. Some things happen because of His direct will but some happen, merely with His approval and consent. And so, on the literal level, He is showing the subtlety of His foresight and His previous knowledge of events.
On the spiritual level, however, a sparrow falls to the ground when it looks at what is below it and falls to earth, ensnared by the vices of the flesh, given up “to dishonourable passions.” It loses its freedom together with its honour. For a sparrow is either borne always upward, or else it comes to rest by alighting on mountains or hills (the hills are metaphors for Scripture). And such a person is one who has been raised aloft by the Word but has his mind on earthly concerns.” – Origen Adamantius (c 185-253) Priest, Theologian, Exegist, Writer, Apologist, Father (Fragment, 212.)
PRAYER – Loving Father, grant me to have a true fervour in Your service. Let me never tire of following Your Son’s example and avoiding evil. Teach me to reside in total peace in Your wisdom and power and thus to trust You above all. Grant that by the intercession of the Blessed Virgin our Mother and Saints Rufina and Secunda, we may grow in holiness and attain our eternal home with You. We ask this through our Lord, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.
Our Morning Offering –10 July – “Month of the Precious Blood” and Mary’s Day
Let Me Love Your Jesus By St Ildephonsus (c 607-670)
Virgin Mary, hear my prayer, through the Holy Spirit, you became the Mother of Jesus, from the Holy Spirit, may I too have Jesus. Through the Holy Spirit, your flesh conceived Jesus, through the same Spirit, may my soul receive Jesus. Through the Holy Spirit, you were able to know Jesus, to possess Jesus and to bring Him into the world. Through the Holy Spirit, may I too come to know your Jesus. Imbued with the Spirit, Mary, you could say “I am the handmaid of the Lord, be it done unto me according to your word,” in the Holy Spirit, lowly as I am, let me proclaim the great truths about Jesus. In the Spirit, you now adore Jesus as Lord and look on Him as Son, in the same Spirit, Mary, let me love your Jesus. Amen
Saints of the Day – 10 July – Saints Rufina and Secunda of Rome (3rd Century) Virgin Martyrs, sibling sisters. Martyred in 257 in Rome, Italy. The entry in the Roman Martyrology states: “At Rome, in the persecution of Valerian and Gallienus, the holy virgins and martyrs, Rufina and Secunda, sisters, who, after being subjected to torments, the one having her head split open, the other being decapitated, departed for Heaven. Their bodies are kept with due honour in the Lateran Basilica, near to the Baptistry.”
“The honours of this day whereon the Church sings the praises of true fraternity, are shared by two valiant sisters. A century had passed over the empire and the Antonines were no more. Valerian, who at first seemed tike them, desirous of obtaining a character for moderation, soon began to follow them along the path of blood. In order to strike a decisive blow, he issued a decree whereby all the principal ecclesiastics were condemned to death without distinction and every Christian of rank was bound under the heaviest penalties to abjure his faith. It is to this edict that Rufina and Secunda owed the honour of crossing their palms with those of Sixtus and Lawrence, Cyprian and Hippolytus. They belonged to the noble family of the Turcii Asterii, whose history has been brought to light by modern discovery. According to the prescriptions of Valerian, which condemned Christian women to no more than confiscation and exile, they ought to have escaped death but, to the crime of fidelity to God they added that of holy virginity, and so, the roses of martyrdom were twined into their lily-wreaths. Their saced relics lie in St John Lateran’s, close to the Baptistery of Constantine and the second Cardinalitial See, that of Porto, couples with this title, the name of St Rufina, thus claiming the protection of the blessed Martyrs.” – By Abbot Dom Prosper Guerenger OSB (1805-1875)
Saints Rufina and Secunda, Virgins:
Rufina and Secunda were sisters and Roman virgins. Their parents had betrothed them to Armentarius and Verinus but they refused to marry, saying that they had consecrated their virginity to Jesus Christ. They were, therefore, apprehended during the reign of the Emperors Valerian and Gallienus. When Junius, the prefect, saw he could not shake their resolution either by promises or by threats, he first ordered Rufina to be beaten with rods. While she was being scourged, Secunda thus addressed the Judge: “Why do you treat my sister thus honorably, but me dishonorably? Order us both to be scourged, since we both “confess Christ to be God.”
Enraged by these words, the Judge ordered them both to be cast into a dark and foetid dungeon – immediately a bright light and a most sweet odour filled the prison. They were then shut up in a bath, the floor of which was made red-hot but ,from this also, they emerged unhurt. Next they were thrown into the Tiber with stones tied to their necks but an Angel saved them from the water and they were finally beheaded ten miles out of the City on the Aurelian Way. Their bodies were buried by a matron named Plautilla, on her estate and were afterwards translated into Rome.
Their place of burial was at the ninth milestone of the Via Cornelia, as is stated in the Berne manuscript of the “Martyrologium Hieronymianum” (ed. De Rossi-Duchesne, 89). These martyrs are also recorded in the Itineraries of the seventh century, as on the road just mentioned (De Rossi, “Roma sotterranea,” I, 18283). Pope Damasus erected a Church over the grave of the Saints. The Town on this spot named after St. Rufina, became the See of one of the Suburbicarian Diocese that was later united with Porto.
Notre-Dame de Boulogne -sur-Mer , France / Our Lady of Boulogne-Sur-Mer (1469) – 10 July:
In the year 636, a small group of people standing on the seashore witnessed a boat without oars or sails came into the harbour of Boulogne. It finally came to rest in the estuary, seemingly of its own accord. One of the witnesses boarded the boat and confirmed that there was n-one aboard, and that the vessel had no rudder, oars or sails. The ship, however, bore a luminous Statue of Our Lady. Taking hold of it to bring it to land, a voice was heard saying, “I choose your City as a place of grace.” The citizens welcomed Mary to their City by erecting a Shrine in her honour, which reached its height of glory in the 12th Century.
King Henry VIII is reported to have stolen the Statue of Our Lady of Boulogne and taken it to England. After many negotiations, the French managed to get it back. The image had been stolen and hidden many other times, but always saved and returned. World War II almost completely destroyed the Statue. In modern times, four exact replicas of Our Lady of Boulogne toured France for more than seven years as a symbol of French devotion to Mary. One of these was taken to Walsingham, England, in 1948 and carried in procession by the Cross-bearing pilgrims. Boulogne was one of the most important Lady Shrines of medieval France; among its noted pilgrims have been: Henry III, Edward II, the Black Prince, John of Gaunt. The dedication of a new Church built in honour of Our Lady of Boulogne was Consecrated in the year 1469 by Bishop Chartier of Paris. The confraternity of Our Lady of Boulogne was so celebrated, that six French Kings have chosen to belong to it. At the French Revolution, the Statue was burnt to ashes and the Church pulled down. A new Statue was made in 1803 and pilgrimages began again. The image represents the Mother with the Child in her arms, standing in a boat, with an angel on either side. At the Marian Congress in Bolougne in 1938, a the custom began, to take replicas of this Statue on visitations through France and abroad. A branch of the Confraternity of Our Lady of Compassion at Boulogne has been established for the reconciliation of the Church of England.
The Sanctuary Church at Boulogne was badly damaged during World War II, and Mary’s image smashed but the return, the “Great Return” of one of the copies of the Statue which had been sheltered at Lourdes, took place in 1943, and the occasion will long be remembered by lovers of the Blessed Virgin Mary. There is an ancient offshoot of this Shrine at Boulogne-sur-Seine.
St Cuán of Airbhre St Elilantus St Etto Bl Euménios St Lantfrid Bl Marie-Gertrude de Ripert d’Alauzier Bl Parthenios St Pascharius of Nantes St Peter Vincioli St Phêrô Nguyen Khac Tu St Rufina and St Secunda of Rome (3rd Century) Virgin Martyrs
St Sylvanus of Pisidia Bl Sylvie-Agnès de Romillon St Waltram — Martyrs of Africa – 4 saints: A group of Christians martyred together in Africa. The only information that has survived are four of their names – Felix, Januarius, Marinus and Nabor.
Martyrs of Antioch – 10 saints: A group of ten Christians martyred together. We have no details about them but the names – Diogenes, Domnina, Esicius, Macarius, Maxima, Maximus, Rodigus, Timoteus, Veronia and Zacheus. They were martyred in Antioch, date unknown.
Martyrs of Damascus – 11 beati: A group of Franciscans and laymen ordered by Druz Muslims to convert to Islam. They refused and were hacked to pieces. • ‘Abd Al-Mu’ti Masabki • Carmelo Bolta Bañuls • Engelbert Kolland • Francisco Pinazo Peñalver • Fransis Masabki • Juan Jacobo Fernández y Fernández • Manuel Ruiz López • Nicanor Ascanio de Soria • Nicolás María Alberca Torres • Pedro Soler Méndez • Rufayil Masabki They were cut to pieces on 9-10 July 1860 in Damascus, Syria. Beatified on 10 October 1926 by Pope Pius XI.
Martyrs of Nicopolis – 45 saints: A group of 45 Christians tortured and martyred together in the persecutions of emperor Licinius. We know nothing else but six of their names – Anicetus, Anthony, Daniel, Leontius, Mauritius and Sisinno. c 329 in Nicopolis, Armenia (modern Koyulhisar, Turkey).
Martyrs of Nitria – 5 saints: Fathers of Nitria – Four monks and the bishop of Alexandria, Egypt who were martyred by heretics. Saint John Chrysostom wrote about them but their names have not come down to us. They were martyred in the 4th century in Nitria, Egypt.