Thought for the Day – 1 August – “Month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary” -Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Virginal Purity of Mary
O Mary, my Heavenly Mother, I am so weak, yet the danger in which I find myself, is so great. Turn your eyes of mercy upon me and come to my assistance. Most of all, do not allow the demon of impurity to seduce my soul. Grant that I may never yield to the temptations of the flesh. Protect for me, the flower of my chastity, until I can deliver it, unsullied, into the hands of Jesus in Heaven. Amen.
August – The Month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
The Physical Heart, Symbol of the Spiritual Heart
The Fathers of the Church consider that when, from the Cross, Our Lord Jesus made the Blessed Lady, the mother of St John and thus He appointed her the mother of all men.
Thus, Mary’s heart is the physical symbol of her boundless love for God and humankind. But Our Lady’s physical heart is also the symbol of her spiritual heart. Thus, in the Immaculate Heart of Mary we also honour her inner life, her virtues, her perfect purity, her boundless humility, her affections and her sorrow.
Poignant in Catholic tradition is the representation of Mary’s heart pierced by a sword, symbol of her immense sorrow at witnessing and willing her Son’s passion and death for the salvation of our souls.
“…Let us continue Immaculate Mary’s mission. All is included in it. May [we].. follow her example and be the handmaid of the Lord in everything, everywhere and always.”
Quote/s of the Day – 1 August – “Month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary” – Readings: Exodus 16: 2-4, 12-15; Psalms 78: 3-4, 23-24, 25, 54 (24b); Ephesians 4: 17, 20-24; John 6: 24-35
“I am the bread of life”
“For His body, has been given to you under the appearance of bread and His blood, under the appearance of wine, so that, when you have partaken of the body and blood of Christ, you might be one body and one blood with Him. So shall we become Christ-bearers [“Christophers”]. His body and blood are diffused t hrough all our members – see, then, how we become participants in the divine nature!”
St Cyril of Jerusalem (313-350) Father & Doctor of the Church
This the truth to Christians given, Bread becomes His flesh from heaven, Wine becomes His holy Blood (Jn 6:55). …
St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) Sequence for the feast of Corpus Christi “ Lauda Sion ”
One Minute Reflection – 1 August – “Month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary” – Readings: Exodus 16: 2-4, 12-15; Psalms 78: 3-4, 23-24, 25, 54 (24b); Ephesians 4: 17, 20-24; John 6: 24-35
They said to him, “Lord, give us this bread always.” Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst.”…John 6:34-35
REFLECTION – Christ is “the bread of life” for those who believe in Him: to believe in Christ is to eat the bread of life, to possess Christ within one, is to possess eternal life… “I am the bread of life,” He says; “your fathers ate manna in the wilderness and they are dead” (Jn 6,48f). By this is to be understood ,spiritual death. Why are they dead? Because they believed in what they saw and did not understand what they could not see… Moses ate manna, Aaron ate it and many others, too, who pleased God and are not dead. Why are they not dead? Because they understood, in a spiritual fashion, they were spiritually hungry, they tasted the manna spiritually, so that they might be spiritually satisfied. “This is the bread that came down from heaven: whoever eats it will never die” (v.50). This manna – that is to say, Christ, who Himself spoke like this…, was prefigured by the manna but was able to do more than manna could. For manna could not, of itself, prevent dying spiritually… But the righteous saw Christ in the manna, they believed in His coming and Christ, of whom manna was the symbol, grants to all who believe in Him that they should not spiritually die. Hence He says: “This is the bread come down from heaven; whoever eats it will never see death.” Here on earth, here now, before your eyes, your eyes of flesh: here is to be found the “bread from heaven” (v.51). The “bread of life” we spoke of a moment ago is now called “living bread.” Living bread because it contains, within itself, the life that abides and can deliver from spiritual death and bestow life. First He said: “Whoever eats it will never die” now he speaks clearly, concerning the life He gives: “Whoever eats this bread will live for ever” (v.58). Archbishop Baldwin of Canterbury (c 1125-1190) Cistercian – The Sacrament of the Altar II
PRAYER – Forgive the sins of Your people Lord and since of ourselves, we are unable to do what pleases You, lead us on the way of salvation in Your divine Son who lives in us and gives us life. May the prayers of Mary, His Mother help us to constantly meditate on His eternal sustenance. He is our food, our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 1 August – Feast of Saint Peter in Chain
Make Your Dwelling in Me By St John Damascene (675-749) Father & Doctor of the Church
Hold dominion over my heart, O Lord! Keep it as Your inheritance. Make Your dwelling in me, along with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Widen in me the cords of Your tabernacle, even the operations of Your Most Holy Spirit. For You are my God and I will praise You, together with the Eternal Father and your quickening Spirit, now, henceforth and forever. Amen
Saint of the Day – 1 August – Saint Ethelwold of Winchester (c 912-984) Bishop of Winchester, Monk, Abbot, Reformer, Founder and restorer of many Monasteries and Convents. Born in c 912 at Winchester, England and died on 1 August 984 of natural causes. Also known as – Adeluoldus, Aethelwald, Aethelwold, Etelvoldo, Etelwold, Ethelwald, “Father of Monks.”
Ethelwold was nobly born and a native of Winchester. Being moved in his youth with an ardent desire totally to devote himself to the divine service, he for some time made it his most earnest request to the Father of lights, that he might find an experienced guide in the paths of salvation. He met with this director in the great St Dunstan, then Abbot of Glastonbury, to whom he addressed himself and received, from his hands, the monastic habit. Knowing that heavenly wisdom is an inestimable treasure, to purchase which we must sell all things and exert our whole strength, he bid adieu to all other thoughts and pursuits and never ceased to sigh, to pray, to weep and to labour, with all the ardour of his soul. At the same time, his zeal for knowledge made him embrace every branch of the sacred sciences that these studies were to become his essential duty. St Dunstan, after some time, made him Dean of his Monks.
In 947, King Edred rebuilt and richly endowed the Abbey of Abingdon in Berkshire, which had been founded by King Cissa, in 675. Ethelwold was appointed Abbot of this great Monastery, where he rendered a perfect model of regular discipline and which became a nursery of other like establishments. He procured from Corbie, a master of church music and sent Osgar to Fleury, a Monastery which at that time, surpassed all others in the reputation of strict observance of the most perfect monastic discipline.
The fury of the Danes had made such havoc of religious houses, that no Monks were then left in all England except in the two Monasteries of Glastonbury and Abingdon, as the historian of this latter place testifies and the education of youth and every other support of learning and virtue, was almost banished by the ravages of those barbarians. These deplorable circumstances awaked the zeal of the virtuous, especially of St Dunstan, St Ethelwold and St. Oswald. These three also set themselves, with great industry, to restore learning.
Ethelwold was Consecrated Bishop of Winchester by St Dunstan. The disorders and ignorance which reigned among some of the clergy of England occasioned by the Danish devastations, produced a scandalous violation of some of the canons. Ethelwold found these evils obstinate and past recovery among the disorderly secular Canons of the Cathedral of Winchester. He expelled them, allotting to each of them a part of their prebends for their annual subsistence and placing Monks from Abingdon in their place with whom he kept choir as their Bishop and Abbot.† Three of the former Canons took the monastic habit, and continued to serve God in that Church. The year following, St Ethelwold expelled the seculars out of the new monastery of Winchester, and placed there Monks with an Abbot.
He repaired the nunnery dedicated to the Virgin Mary and bought of the King the lands and ruins of the great nunnery of St Audry in the isle of Ely, which had been burnt by the Danes a hundred years before and he erected, on the same spot, a sumptuous Abbey of Monks, which King Edgar exceedingly enriched, as is related by Thomas of Ely. He likewise purchased the ruins of Thorney in Cambridgeshire, which he restored in like manner about the year 970. He assisted and directed Adulph to buy the ruins of Peterborough Abbey and rebuilt the same in a most sumptuous manner.
He rested from his labours on the 1st of August, 984 and was buried in the Cathedral of Winchester, on the south side of the High Altar. Authentic proofs of miracles wrought through his intercession having been made, his body was taken up and solemnly deposited under the Altar by St Elphege, his immediate successor, afterward Archbishop of Canterbury and Martyr.
Portiuncula Indulgence: An Indulgence which may be gained in any Church so designated by the Bishop, by all the faithful who, after Confession and Holy Communion, visit such Churches between noon of 1 August and midnight of 2 August, or on the Sunday following. The Indulgence is toties quoties and is applicable to the souls in Purgatory.
Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes / Our Lady of Mercy, Barcelona, Spain (1218,) Founding of the Mercedarian Order – 1 August, 24 September :
On 1 August of 1218, St Peter Nolasco, St Raymund of Penafort and James, King of Aragon, each had a vision of the Virgin Mary asking them to found a religious Order devoted to freeing Christian captives from the Muslims, who still held much of Spain. The Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy grew quickly, collecting alms for ransom and sometimes offering themselves in exchange for prisoners. The Statue of the Mother of God of Mercy in Barcelona (below) dates from the 1300s. She became the City’s Patron after saving it from a plague of locusts in 1687. Before the counter-reformation, the Mercedarian Order celebrated the Feast of Our Lady of Ransom on 1 August, the date when she showed St. Peter Nolasco their white habit. The Vatican changed the date to 24 September when it extended the feast to entire Church in 1696. Since Vatican II, Catholic observance of Our Lady of Mercy’s day is limited to places and organisations that claim her as Patron. Meanwhile, the Mercedarians have changed their mission to teaching and chaplaincy and the Barcelona soccer team visits the Basilica of La Mercè after victories in thanksgiving for her help. Her fiesta in Barcelona is a spectacular sequence of processions, dances, music, games and fireworks.
St Adela Mardosewicz Bl Aleksy Sobaszek St Alexander of Perga St Almedha St Arcadius St Attius of Perga St Buono St Brogan St Charity St Ethelwold of Winchester (c 912-984) Bishop St Exuperius of Bayeux St Faith St Faustus St Felix of Gerona St Friard Bl Giovanni Bufalari St Hope St Jadwiga Karolina Zak St Jonatus St Justin of Paris St Kenneth of Wales St Leontius of Perga St Maur St Nemesius of Lisieux Bl Orlando of Vallombrosa St Peregrinus of Modena St Rioch Bl Rudolph St Secundel St Secundus of Palestrina St Sophia St Verus of Vienne
Holy Maccabees: Jewish dynasty which began with the rebellion of Mathathias and his five sons against the Syrian king, Antiochus IV (168 BC) and ruled the fortunes of Israel until the advent of Herod the Great. Syrian attempts to force Greek paganism on the Jews, the profanation of the Temple at Jerusalem and the massacre which followed, brought the nation to arms under Mathathias, a priest of the sons of Joarib. At the death of Mathathias, Judas Machabeus, his third son, drove the Syrians and Hellenists out of Jerusalem, rededicated the Temple and began an offensive and defensive alliance with the Romans. Before the treaty was concluded, however, Judas, with 800 men, risked battle at Laisa with an overwhelming army of Syrians under Bacchides, and was slain. He was succeeded in command by his youngest brother, Jonathan (161 BC). Jonathan defeated Bacchides, revenged the death of his brother and made peace with Alexander who had usurped the throne of Demetrius, the successor to Antiochus. A period of peace followed in which Jonathan ruled as high priest in Jerusalem but Tryphon, who was plotting for the throne of Asia, treacherously captured him at ptolemais and later put him to death. The captaincy of the armies of Israel then fell to Simon, the second son of Mathathias. Under him the land of Juda flourished exceedingly. He obtained the complete independence of the country and a grateful people bestowed upon him the hereditary kingship of the nation. His rule marked five years of uninterrupted peace. He was treacherously slain by his son-in-law, Ptolemy, about the year 135 BC After Simon the race of the Machabees quickly degenerated. In 63 BC the Romans thought it necessary to interfere in the fratricidal war between Hyrcanus II and Aristobulus II. With this interference and the advent of Herod the Great the sceptre passed forever from the land of Juda. The story of the Machabees is written in the two books of the Old Testament which bear that name.
Saints Faith, Hope and Charity: The daughters of Saint Sophia. While still children, they were tortured and martyred for their faith in the persecutions of Hadrian. They were scourged, thrown into a fire, and then beheaded.
Martyrs of Nowogrodek – 11 beati: A group of eleven Holy Family of Nazareth nuns who were murdered by the Nazi Gestapo in exchange for 120 condemned citizens of Nowogrodek, Belarus who were scheduled for revenge killings. They are – • Adela Mardosewicz • Anna Kukolowicz • Eleonora Aniela Józwik • Eugenia Mackiewicz • Helena Cierpka • Jadwiga Karolina Zak • Józefa Chrobot • Julia Rapiej • Leokadia Matuszewska • Paulina Borowik • Weronika Narmontowicz They were machine-gunned by firing squad on 1 August 1943 by the Gestapo about three miles outside Novogrudok (Nowogródek), Hrodzyenskaya voblasts’, in Nazi occupied Belarus and buried on the site of the execution in a common grave. One of their surviving sisters, Maria Malgorzata Banas, located the grave on 19 March 1945 and tended to it until her death in 1966. Their relics have since been re-interred in a common sarcophagus in the chapel of the Novograd Farny Church (the Church of the Transfiguration, also known as Biala Fara or the White Church).