Thought for the Day – 30 July – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“There are two ways in which we should make constant daily progress. The first is in the removal of our defects and imperfections. As the Imitation of Christ insists, we should soon become holy if we were to conquer, at least one sin, every year. It is opportune, at this stage, to ask ourselves how many years we have already spent on earth. During these years, how many personal defects can we claim to have remedied? Perhaps there was a time when we were better than we are now? If we have wasted time and have abused our Creator’s gifts and favours, we should humble ourselves and do penance before God.
Finally, we should resolve to do our best to remedy, at least, one Defect everyday. We should select first of all, whatever imperfection we know to be the most dangerous. This will be difficult and even heroic work but, it is very necessary. We must work on our own character as a sculptor works on a block of marble, hammering, cutting and chiselling patiently and perseveringly. With the help of God, we shall be successful. Even as the Saints succeeded, so we shall succeed if we depend on God’s grace and make the necessary sacrifices.”
Quote/s of the Day – 30 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood”– The Memorial of St Peter Chrysologus (c 400-450) “Golden Words,” Father & Doctor of the Church
“The Magi are filled with awe by what they see – heaven on earth and earth in heaven; man in God and God in man; they see enclosed in a tiny body the One Whom the entire world cannot contain.”
“He is The Bread sown in the virgin, leavened in the Flesh, moulded in His Passion, baked in the furnace of the Sepulchre, placed in the Churches and set upon the Altars, which daily supplies Heavenly Food to the faithful.”
“For he who touches the Body of Christ unworthily, receives his damnation.”
“The poor stretch out the hand but God receives what is offered.”
St Peter Chrysologus (c 400-450) “Golden Words” Father & Doctor of the Church
One Minute Reflection – 30 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood”– Readings: Leviticus 23: 1, 4-11, 15-16, 27, 34b-37; Psalms 81: 3-4, 5-6, 10-11ab; Matthew 13: 54-58 and the Memorial of St Peter Chrysologus (c 400-450) Father & Doctor of the Church
“Is not this the carpenter’s son? ”– Matthew 13:55
REFLECTION – “For if I do not understand the nature placed at my service, I discern Your goodness from the mere fact that it is there to serve me. I perceive that I do not even understand myself but I wonder at You all the more… You have given me intellect, life and human feeling, the source of so many joys, yet I do not begin to understand how I began to be… So it is through failing to understand what surrounds me, that I grasp what You are and, it is through perceiving what You are, that I come to adore You. That is why, in what concerns Your mysteries, my incomprehension lessens not a bit my faith in Your omnipotence… Your eternal Son’s birth exceeds even the idea of eternity – it is prior to the times everlasting. Before any other thing that exists, He was Son proceeding from You, O God and Father. He is true God… You have never existed without Him… Before ever time was, You are the eternal Father of Your Sole Begotten One.”… St Hilary (315-368) Bishop of Poitiers, Father and Doctor of the Divinity of Christ of the Church
PRAYER – “So long as I enjoy that breath of life granted to me by You, Holy Father, Almighty God, I will proclaim You as God eternal but also as Father eternal. Never will I set myself up as judge of Your almighty power and mysteries; never will I set my limited understanding before the true appreciation of Your infinity; never will I claim You to have existed beforehand without Your Wisdom, Power and Word, God the Only-Begotten, my Lord Jesus Christ. For even though human language is weak and imperfect when it speaks of You, this will not inhibit my mind to the point of reducing my faith to silence, for lack of words able to express the mystery of Your being…” (St Hilary) Lord God, You hold out the light of Your Word to those who do not know You. Strengthen in our hearts the faith You have given us, so that no trials may quench the fire Your Spirit kindled within us. Grant that the prayers of Your faithful St Peter Chrysologus, may assist us to grow in love. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 30 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood”
A Prayer to Seek the Consolation of the Cross By St Alphonsus Rodriguez SJ (1532-1617)
Jesus, love of my soul, centre of my heart! Why am I not more eager to endure pains and tribulations for love of You, when You, my God, have suffered so many for me? Come, then, every sort of trial in the world, for this is my delight, to suffer for Jesus. This is my joy, to follow my Saviour and to find my consolation with my Consoler on the Cross. This is my happiness, this my pleasure: to live with Jesus, to walk with Jesus, to converse with Jesus, to suffer with and for Him, this is my treasure. Amen
Saint of the Day – 30 July – Blessed Manés de Guzmán OP (c 1168-1235) Dominican Priest and Frair, older Brother of Saint Dominic (1170-1221- born as Manés de Guzmán y Aza in c 1168 at Caleruega, Castile (in modern Burgos, Spain) and died in 1234 in the Monastery of San Pedro de Gumeil, Izan, Castile (in modern Burgos, Spain) of natural causes. Also known as – Mamerto, Mamés, Manez, Mannus. According to an early source he was “a contemplative and holy man, meek and humble, joyful and kind and a zealous preacher.”
Manés was the second son of Félix Núñez de Guzmán and Juana de Aza . His younger brother was Dominic de Guzmán , Founder of the Order of Preachers and whom Manés helped in his reforming goals throughout his life. His older brother was Antonio de Guzmán, who became a Diocesan Priest in a hospice and devoted himself unreservedly, to works of mercy in the service of the poor. He received the first teachings from his Parents and his Uncle, Archpriest Gonzalo de Aza in Gumiel de Izán. Initially, in 1183, he joined the Cistercians in the San Pedro Monastery in Gumiel de Izan.
In 1215, Dominic established himself, with six followers, in a house given by Peter Seila, a rich resident of Toulouse. Dominic saw the need for a new type of Order to address the spiritual needs of the growing Cities of the era, one that would combine dedication and systematic education, with more flexibility than either Monastic Orders or the secular Clergy. He subjected himself and his companions to the Monastic Rules of prayer and penance; -Bishop Foulques gave them written authority to preach throughout the territory of Toulouse. Pope Honorius II approved the the Ordo Praedicatorum (“Order of Preachers”) in the same year.
On 15 August 1217, Manés, having left the Cistercian Monastery, joined his brother as one of the first 15 Dominican. He placed himself under his brother’s guidance from the foundation of the Dominican Order.
In the same year, he helped establish the Priory of St Jacques in Paris and his brother arranged ,that, accompanied by Friar Miguel de Fabra, he make a trip to Spain in order to consolidate and strengthen the new houses of the Order in their Country of origin. In 1219 , he was entrusted, by his brother, with the care of the Dominican nuns of the Madrid Convent. .
After the Canonisation of his brother ( 3 July 1234 ), he marched to Caleruega to propose the construction of a Church in the place where St Dominic and himself were born in honour of the new Saint. Just a couple of weeks later, he died in the Monastery of San Pedro de Gumiel de Izán and was buried there, where some members of his family were lying, including his mother, Juana de Aza. Having a reputation for holiness, he was buried with all kinds of honours. When they began to venerate and pray at his tomb, his relics were transferred from his family’s crypt to the main Altar, there they were exposed for public veneration.
In the personality of Manés we can guess at common traits with Dominic: austerity, sobriety and the manners of the Castilian male. His spirit of service and attachment to the founding principals of his brother’s Order, shows that he had a gregarious spirit and the humility of obedience in service.
Likewise, Manés reveals a community spirit, obedient and based on the mission that was presented to him. His way of being and his way of doing shows a Dominican spark: – “making oneself while making the community” and vice versa, “making the community while making oneself.”
Being Dominic’s brother does not hide Manés’ importance as Dominic’s partner, not only in his childhood in Caleruega but also throughout their time together in the new Order. Over time, Manésy showed himself as a brother by blood but also as a brother in faith and in the hope of saving souls. Domingo felt him by his side and trusted him. The results of the orders carried out by Manés, speak for themselves.
Blessed Mané is one of the most beloved figures in the Dominican family, as the blood brother of St Dominc and his companion in the founding of the Order. His contemporary Friars said of him:
“He was a contemplative and holy man” – Friar Gerardo de Frachet “Gentle, humble, jovial and benign and ardent preacher” – Friar Rodrigo Cerrato ….. Ana OP
Notre-Dame-de-Gray / Our Lady de Gray, France (1602) – 30 July:
The Shrine of Notre-Dame-de-Gray, or Our Lady of Gray, is located near Besancon in Northern France near Franche-Comte. The Statue of Our Lady of Gray is made of an oak tree from Montaigu, has a dark wooden colour and is only 14.5 centimeters tall. It is much honoured in the country and there are many miracles and graces granted to petitioners that are attributed to Our Lady’s intercession at this Shrine.
It is believed that about five centuries ago, on a hill near Montaigu, a pious person placed a small Statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary upon an old oak tree. The tree itself is believed to date from the time of the Druids and crested one of the hills in the Diocese of Malines. Soon the faithful began to come in crowds from throughout the region, for there were miraculous cures and various miracles granted to the pilgrims who invoked Mary under the name of Our Lady of the Oak. In the year 1602 a small wooden Chapel was built on the hill of Montaigu. The oak upon which the Statue of Our Lady had once been displayed was now cut up into small pieces and carved by a local craftsman into statuettes of the same image. These Statues were presented as a mark of respect to patrons of the Shrine. Even the wood of the oak was considered almost a precious relic, for it had once touched the miraculous Statue of the Blessed Virgin. Wherever they went these figures were enshrined with honour and it seemed as if Our Lady of Montaigu sent her favour, for her miraculous power went with them.
In the year 1613, a poor, seventy year old widow named Jeanne Bonnet de Salins made a pilgrimage to the Shrine. She obtained a piece of the venerable old oak and took it to a sculptor named Jean Brange to carve into a statue similar to that of the original. On 4 April 1613, the Archbishop of Besancon blessed the Statue and allowed it to be exhibited for public veneration. It is reported, that Jeanne Bonnet was rewarded by signal graces she obtained through Our Lady’s intercession. She intended to give the Statue to a local Church but, in 1616, yielded to the repeated entreaties of Father Gabriel Appremont, who wanted to have the image for the Capuchins of Gray. A special Chapel was richly decorated to receive it. The news soon spread in the region of Gray and the faithful flocked to pay their respects to the new Madonna, Our Lady of Gray.
Our Lady of Gray holds in her right hand a gleaming sceptre of gold that a parishioner donated in the year 1807. It was at this time that the Chapel – now a Basilica (see below), was undergoing reconstruction after the ravages of the French Revolution. There are also three semi-precious stones set in the front of the base of the statue that were given by grateful petitioners to the Blessed Virgin. Finally, the two gold crowns were created in 1909 on the occasion of the celebration of the coronation of the Statue of Our Lady of Gray.
St Abdon Bl Antonio di San Pietro Bl Edward Powell St Ermengyth St Hatebrand St Julitta of Caesarea St Leopold Bogdan Mandic Blessed Manés de Guzmán OP (c 1168-1235) Dominican Priest and Friar, Brother of Saint Dominic
Bl Richard Featherstone St Rufinus of Assisi St Senen St Tatwine of Canterbury St Terenzio of Imola Bl Thomas Abel St Ursus of Auxerre Bl Vicenta Chavez-Orozco — Martyrs of Castelseras: Three Dominicans, two of them priests, one a novice, who were martyred together in the Spanish Civil War for refusing to renounce Christianity. • Joaquín Prats Baltueña • José María Muro-Sanmiguel • Zosimo Izquierdo Gil They were shot on 30 July 1936 at a farm house outside Castelserás, Teruel, Spain and Beatified on 11 March 2001 by Pope John Paul II.
Martyrs of Tebourba – 3 saints: Three girls martyred together in the persecutions of Diocletian. We know little else about them but the names – Donatilla, Maxima and Secunda. 304 at Tebourba in North Africa.
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War: Thousands of people were murdered in the anti-Catholic persecutions of the Spanish Civil War from 1934 to 1939. Today’s list includes the following:
The Martyred Hospitallers of Spain and Bl Alejandro González Blanco Bl Eugenio García Tribaldos Bl Guillermo Álvarez Quemada Bl Juan Lanz Palanca Bl Luis Herrero Arnillas Bl Miguel Solas del Val Bl Pablo Díaz de Zárate y Ortiz de Zárate Bl Racardo Pla Espí Bl Sergio Cid Paz