Thought for the Day – 25 July – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Love of God The One Thing Necessary!
“If we really know God, we should love Him above all created things. “I have loved you too little, My God,” said St Augustine in his Confessions, “because I have not known You well enough.” If we knew God, we should recognise, that He is infinite beauty, goodness and wisdom. We should realise, that the beauty of creatures is like a passing cloud, for it is a vague and distant reflection of the eternal beauty of God. We should realise, that the wisdom of men, is only a ray of God’s light which comes from Him and must return to Him. Finally, we should perceive that men are good, only insofar, as they do their best to respond to the inspirations of grace which God has placed in their hearts. God alone is in Himself and of Himself, supremely true, beautiful, good, wise and holy. Created things are only an invitation to love God, their Creator. God alone, therefore, is supremely lovable in Himself. In the apt words of St Bernard, “God Himself is the reason why we should love God and, the measure of our love should be measureless.”
Let us not allow ourselves to become entangled in the empty passing things of this world but, let us raise our minds and hearts to God alone. There is only one thing necessary!”
Quote of the Day – 25 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood” – Memorial of St Christopher (died c 251) One of the Fourteen Holy Helpers
The Fourteen Holy Helpers: – Plague Saints for a time of plague!
In the middle of the 14th century, the Plague – also called “The Black Death” and the “The Greatest Catastrophe Ever” – ravaged Europe, killing 50 million people, or about 60% of the population, within a few years (a vastly higher death rate than any ‘pandemic’ since.)
Layering dead bodies in pits, watching loved ones succumb to the ravages of a ghastly illness, people turned to the Almighty and All-powerful Physician for help. It was at this time that the Fourteen Holy Helpers came to be invoked against the Plague and other misfortunes. As we face true death – the death of everything we know and love, even any form of Catholic life and any Catholic lifesigns, let us turn to true FAITH – no mask needed – and revive the assistance of these gracious and efficacious Holy Helpers.
Prayer to the Fourteen Holy Helpers By St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) Doctor of the Church
Great princes of Heaven, Holy Helpers, who sacrificed to God all your earthly possessions, wealth, preferment and even life and who now are crowned in Heaven in the secure enjoyment of eternal bliss and glory; have compassion on me, a poor sinner in this vale of tears and obtain for me from God, for Whom you gave up all things and Who loves you as His servants, the strength to bear patiently all the trials of this life, to overcome all temptations and to persevere in God’s service to the end, that one day I too may be received into your company, to praise and glorify Him, the supreme Lord, Whose Beatific Vision you enjoy and Whom you praise and glorify forever. Amen
The “fourteen angels” of the lost children’s prayer in the Composer, Engelbert Humperdinck’s (1854-1921) (not the popular Welsh singer) fairy opera, ‘Hansel and Gretel’, are the Fourteen Holy Helpers. The English words are familiar and very beautiful:
When at night, I go to sleep, Fourteen angels, watch do keep, Two my head are guarding, Two my feet are guiding; Two upon my right hand, Two upon my left hand. Two who warmly cover Two who o’er me hover, Two to whom ’tis given To guide my steps to Heaven.
One Minute Reflection – 25 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood” – Feast of St James the Greater – Reaqdings: Second Kings 4: 42-44; Psalms 145: 10-11, 15-16, 17-18; Ephesians 4: 1-6; John 6: 1-15
When they had seen what a miracle Jesus had done, said: , “This is truly the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world.” – John 6:14
REFLECTION – “Governing the entire universe is a greater miracle than feeding five thousand people with five loaves of bread, yet no-one marvels at it. People marvel at the feeding of the five thousand not because this miracle is greater but because, it is out of the ordinary. Who is even now providing nourishment for the whole world if not the God Who creates a field of wheat from a few seeds? Christ did what God does. Just as God multiplies a few seeds into a whole field of wheat, so Christ multiplied the five loaves in His Hands. For there was power in the Hands of Christ. Those five loaves were like seeds, not because they were cast on the earth but because, they were multiplied by the One who made the earth.
This miracle was presented to our senses, in order to stimulate our minds… and so make us marvel at “the God we do not see because of his works, which we do see” (Rom 1,20). For then, when we have been raised to the level of faith and purified by faith, we shall long to behold, though not with our eyes, the invisible God Whom we recognise through what is visible. This miracle was performed for the multitude to see; it was recorded for us to hear. Faith does for us, what sight did for them. We behold with the mind what our eyes cannot see and we are preferred to them because of us, it was said: “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe” (Jn 20,29). – St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of Grace – Homilies on Saint John’s gospel, 24, 1.6.7.
PRAYER – Lord our God, You accepted the sacrifice of St James, the first of Your Apostles to give his life for Your sake. May Your Church find strength in his martyrdom and support in his constant prayer. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. St James the Greater, Apostle of Christ, Pray for us! Amen
Our Morning Offering – 25 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood” – Feast of St James the Greater and the Memorial of St Christopher (died c 251)
The Christopher Prayer, Make Us True Christ-Bearers Anonymous
Father, grant that we may be, bearers of Christ Jesus, Your Son. Allow us to fill, the world around us, with Your light. Strengthen us, by Your Holy Spirit, to carry out our mission of living and following the path of Jesus, our Lord. Help us to understand, that by Your grace our gifts are Your blessings, to be shared with others. Fill us with Your Spirit of love to give glory to You in loving all and preaching by our love. Nourish in us the desire to go forth as the bearers of Your Son fearless and gentle, loving and merciful. Make us true Christ-Bearers, that in seeing us, only He is visible. Amen.
Saint of the Day – 25 July – Saint Magnericus of Trier (c 520-596) Bishop and Confessor. Born in c 520 and died on 25 July 596 of natural causes. Also known as – Magnerich, Magnerico, Magnerik, Meinrich. Magnericu. Magnericus was a friend and disciple of St Gregory of Tours, mentioned in his History of the Franks and ordained St Géry, one of his disciples, who became Bishop of Cambrai-Arras. St Venantius Fortunatus (c 530 – c 609) (his life here:https://anastpaul.com/2019/12/14/saint-of-the-day-14-december-saint-venantius-fortunatus-c-530-c-609/) described the Bishop as virtuous and charitable and an “ornament of bishops“.
Magnericus was born and grew up in Trier, Germany. Not much is known about his early life. Once installed as Bishop, he continued the work begun by his predecessor of restoring the City of Trier and its environs. He founded several clerical communities and Churches, including St.Eucharius and St Paulin. He had a great devotion to Saint Martin of Tours and built several Monasteries and Churches dedicated to him. He converted the Holy Cross Church in Trier into an Oratory in honour of St Martin; it later became the Abbey of St. Martin. Other Churches Magnericus dedicated to St Martin are in Ivois, Carden on the Moselle and a second one in Trier.
He lived in the residence of Bishop Nicetius,and accompanied the Bishop into exile when Nicetius was banished by King Clotaire I. This was an act of revenge for the King being excommunicated. Magnericus returned to Trier the next year. He was Ordained by Nicetius in 566.
He gave sanctuary to Bishop Theodore of Marseilles when he was exiled by Guntramnus of Burgundy in 585 and pleaded with King Childebert II on behalf of the Bishop.
Magnericus was close to the Merovingian Royal house and Childebert II, who made him Godfather of his son,Theudebert II. In 587 he attended a family congress of Kings Childebert and Guntram, which nearly cost him his life. At the meeting, Duke Boso, who had been condemned by the King, fled to his house and took the Bishop hostage. The house was set on fire at the King’s command but fortunately, Magnericus escaped with his life.
The proximity to the Merovingian family and his influence on the fortunes of Austrasia and the Gallic Church helped him maintain urban and regional domination until his death.
He was buried in the cemetery of St Martins. Around the year 1000 Abbot Eberwin wrote a hagiography of the Bishop, whereupon his veneration spread throughout Lorraine. In 1506 his grave was opened but after the destruction of the Church during the French Revolution, his remains disappeared.
Notre-Dame du Saguenay / Our Lady of Lac Bouchet, Quebec (1920) – 25 July:
The Saguenay Fjord is an ancient glacial valley that has been overrun with sea water. In the year 1828 a surveyor, Joseph Bouchette, ventured into the region for the purpose of collecting data for topographical maps. It was during this expedition that he found a suitable site for a future village, which Pascal Dumais and his family later settled. This marked the founding of the village of Lac-Bouchette, with more and more people coming to settle in the area until the village had 300 inhabitants by 1888. Our story actually begins with a man named Charles Napoleon Robitaille, a salesman who travelled the roads in and around Quebec. During the winters he would have to cross frozen rivers and it was in the winter of 1878 while trying to cross the Saguenay River that the ice broke under the weight of his horse and sleigh. Pulled beneath the surface of the icy waters, Charles was alone and completely helpless. Knowing he was dying, he implored the Blessed Virgin Mary to save him. Charles miraculously survived, and managed to escape from the river with his life. He knew the Virgin had assisted him and so to honour Mary and her recent apparition at Lourdes, he asked Louis Jobin to create a huge Statue of the Blessed Virgin sculpted in the image of Our Lady of Lourdes, the Immaculate Conception. He envisioned the Statue in the heights overlooking the mouth of the river. The Statue Jobin sculpted became known as Notre-Dame du Saguenay.
The finished Statue is an impressive more than 10,5 metres high and weighs 3 tons. Sculpted of solid white pine, it was then sheathed in lead to protect it from the harsh weather. Hauling such a huge Statue into place was a difficult task in the late nineteenth century. After being constructed, it was broken down into 14 separate pieces and then hoisted into place and rebuilt. The Statue made Louis Jobin the most famous sculptor of the time,and it has become a regional landmark, with visitors from all over the world assembling at her feet to sing the Ave Maria.
In 1889 the mission Church of Saint Thomas Aquinas was built and the next year Father Joseph Ironwood became the first Priest there A second Church was soon built, in 1898, as the population increased dramatically. Now, on the north shore of Lake Bouchet, in the Province of Quebec, there stand the buildings of a Friary and the Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Saguenay. In 1920, Father Elzear Delamarre built a house and a private Chapel dedicated to Saint Anthony of Padua on the site, which later became known as the hermitage of Saint Anthony and is one of the national Shrines in Quebec. So began the pilgrimage-shrine that has since grown steadily in popularity. After Father de Lamarre’s death in 1925, the Capuchin Franciscans took over the property, built their house and Church there and minister to the thousands of pilgrims who visit the Blessed Mother at her Sanctuary.
St Cugat del Valles Bl Darío Acosta Zurita St Ebrulfus St Fagildo of Santiago St Felix of Furcona St Florentius of Furcona St Glodesind of Metz St Magnericus of Trier (c 520-596) Bishop and Confessor Bl Michel-Louis Brulard Bl Mieczyslawa Kowalska St Mordeyren St Nissen of Wexford St Olympiad of Constantinople St Paul of Palestine
St Theodemir of Cordoba — Martyrs of Caesarea – 3 saints: Three Christians martyred together in the pesecutions of emperor Maximilian and governor Firmilian – Paul, Tea and Valentina. 309 in Caesarea, Palestine.
Martyrs of Cuncolim – 20 saints: On 15 July 1583 the group met at the church of Orlim, and hiked to Cuncolim to erect a cross and choose land for a new church. Local anti-Christian pagans, seeing the unarmed Christians, gathered their weapons and marched on them. One of the parishioners, a Portuguese emigre named Gonçalo Rodrigues, carried a firearm, but Father Alphonsus Pacheco stopped him from using it. The pagans then fell upon them, and killed them all without mercy. They were – • Alphonsus Pacheco • Alphonsus the altar boy • Anthony Francis • Dominic of Cuncolim • Francis Aranha • Francis Rodrigues • Gonçalo Rodrigues • Paul da Costa • Peter Berno • Rudolph Acquaviva • ten other native Christian converts whose names have not come down to us They were martyred on Monday 25 July 1583 at the village of Cuncolim, district of Salcete, territory of Goa, India. Beatified on 30 April 1893 by Pope Leo XIII.