Thought for the Day – 5 August – Mary, a Light in the Darkness

Thought for the Day – 5 August – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Mary, a Light in the Darkness

“Let us imagine for a moment, that we have grown blind and are forever plunged in darkness.
It is an unhappy thought.
Never again to see those who are dear to us, never to see the light of the sun nor any of the splendour of the universe.
We should feel as if were alone, for we should have to depend only on sounds and on the voices of others for communication with the external world.
As St Augustine points out, however, in his commentary on the miracle of the man who had been blind from birth, we are all more or less blind in the supernatural order.
The world is the image of God but, do we see His Presence in everything which surrounds us?
Is it not more often the case that created things distract us and lead us to forget their Creator because, we regard them as a means of satisfying our own comfort and our own ego?
We should look on creatures as go-betweens which help us to ascend to God, the beginning and end of all creation.

Unfortunately, instead of climbing this mystical ladder which leads us to God, we often descend it.
We forget God and become excessively wrapped up in worldly affairs.
Sometimes matters may be even worse, not only do we forget God through our love of creatures but, we use them, to offend Him.
God has given us eyes to admire His works and, as a result, to lead us to praise, thank and love Him.
Instead, we often use this wonderful gift in order to commit sin.
He has given us the gift of speech, the gift of hearing and other senses.
But how do we employ them?
The tongue is a marvellous invention but, as St James writes, “if anyone does not offend in the word, he is a perfect man, able also to lead round by the bridle, the whole body … With it we bless God the Father and, with it, we curse men, who have been made after the likeness of God.   Out of the same mouth, proceed blessing and cursing.   These things, my brethren ought not to be so” (Js 3:2-10).
What can be said of vision and of speech can be said of all the senses and faculties of body and soul.
They are all God’s gifts and should, therefore, be used as means of bringing ourselves closer to Him.
If creatures lead us away from God and cause us to forget Him, or if, worse still, they cause us to offend Him, then we are spiritually blind and far more unfortunate than those who have lost their natural vision.

Most Holy Mary, during your earthly pilgrimage, you never once lost sight of God.
Grant that I may not be lost in the darkness of this world.
Grant that I may not be ensnared by the passing charm and false beauty of these created things which surround me.
Grant that I may see, in all things, the Presence and Beauty of God, so that I may always continue to advance, nearer and nearer to Him.   Amen.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, HYMNS, St PETER!, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 5 August – St Peter

Quote/s of the Day – 5 August – “Month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary” – Readings: Numbers 20: 1-13; Psalm 95: 1-2, 6-9; Matthew 16: 13-23

“Upon this rock I will build my church”

Matthew 16:18

“… Out of all the world,
one man, Peter … is chosen.”

“Nothing escaped the wisdom and power of Christ,
the elements of nature lay at His service,
spirits obeyed Him, angels served Him.
… And yet, out of all the world,
Peter alone was chosen to stand at the head,
for the calling of all the peoples
and the oversight of all the apostles
and Fathers of the Church. .”

St Pope Leo the Great (400-461)
Father and Doctor of the Church

And what shall we say of Peter?
Even if he had undergone nothing for Christ,
it would be sufficient to celebrate him today
in that he was crucified for Him…
He well knew where, He Whom he loved,
He whom he longed for was… –
his cross has been his road to heaven.”

St Aelred of Rielvaux (1110-1167),

O Peter, who were Named by Christ!
By Stanbrook Abbey
For the Feast of the Chair of St Peter

O Peter who were named by Christ!
The guardian-shepherd of His flock,
Protect the Church He built on you
To stand unyielding, firm on rock.

Your weakness, Christ exchanged for strength,
You faltered but He made you true.
He knew the greatness of your love
And gave the keys of heav’n to you

Unseen, eternal Trinity,
We give You glory, praise Your name,
Your love keeps faith with faithless men,
Through change and stress, You are the same.

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, St PETER!, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 5 August – “’… Out of all the world, Peter alone was chosen …’

One Minute Reflection – 5 August – “Month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary” – Readings: Numbers 20: 1-13; Psalm 95: 1-2, 6-9; Matthew 16: 13-23 – The Memorial of the Dedication of Mary Major, Our Lady of the Snows

“Upon this rock I will build my church” – Matthew 16:18

REFLECTION –Nothing escaped the wisdom and power of Christ: – the elements of nature lay at His service, spirits obeyed Him, angels served Him… And yet, out of all the world, Peter alone was chosen to stand at the head for the calling of all the peoples and the oversight of all the Apostles and Fathers of the Church. Thus, even though there are many priests and shepherds among the people of God, Peter governed them all in person while Christ also governs them in the capacity of Head…

The Lord asks all the Apostles what people think of Him and they all say the same thing so long as they are making known the doubts deriving from human ignorance. But when the Lord demands to know what the disciples themselves think, the first to confess the Lord is he who is the first in dignity of the Apostles. As he had said: “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God”, Jesus answers him: “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you but my heavenly Father.” That is to say: blessed are you because my Father taught this to you. Earthly opinion has not led you astray but it is heavenly inspiration that has instructed you. It is not flesh and blood that enabled you to discover me but He whose only Son I am.

And so I say to you”, that is to say: – just as My Father has manifested My divinity to you, so I am making known your superiority to you. “You are Peter,” namely – I am the unshakeable Rock, the Cornerstone Who makes two peoples one (Eph 2,14), the Foundation, other than which, no-one can lay any other (1Cor 3,11). But you also, you are rock since you are impregnable by My Strength and what I have by virtue of My Power, you have, in common with Me by the fact, that you participate in it. “On this rock I will build my Church”… On the firmness of this foundation, He says, will I build an everlasting temple and My Church, whose summit is to reach to heaven, will be raised on the strength of that faith.” – St Pope Leo the Great (400-461) Father and Doctor of the Church’s Unity 4th Sermon for the Anniversary of his Ordination ; PL 54, 14a ; SC 200

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 by the prayers of Mary, the Immaculate Mother of Your Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever, amen.


Our Morning Offering – 5 August – Concórdi lætítia

Our Morning Offering – 5 August – “Month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary” – The Memorial of the Dedication of Mary Major, Our Lady of the Snows

Concórdi lætítia
Harmonious Joy

Sounds of joy have put to flight
All the sadness of the night.
Now a Maid beyond compare
Hears her praises fill the air:
Virgo María.

Who is she whom angels sing,
Making all creation ring?
She it is who wins our priase,
As on earth our voice we raise:
Virgo María.

Queen of virgins, Maiden mild,
Hear me, take me for your child.
Ever my protector be,
Bring eternal life to me:
Virgo María.

Mighty Godhead, Three in One,
While eternal ages run,
Look to Mary, full of grace,
And forgive the human race:
Virgo María.

Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 5 August – Saint Emygdius (c 272 – c 303) Bishop Martyr

Saint of the Day – 5 August – Saint Emygdius (c 272 – c 303) Bishop Martyr, Confessor, miracle-worker. Born probably in Trier in south-western Germany in c 272 and died by being beheaded in c 303. Patronages – against earthquakes, of the City and Diocese of Ascoli Piceno, of the Cities of L’Aquila, Cingoli, San Ginesio, Nocera Umbra, Italy. Also known as – Emygdius, Emigdius, Emigdio.

The Roman Martyrology states of him today: “St Emygdius, Bishop and Martyr, who was Consecrated Bishop by Pope Marcellus and sent thither to preach the Gospel. He received the crown of Martyrdom for the confession of Christ, under the Emperor Diocletian.”

Emygdius was a pagan converted and was baptised by St Nazarius and St Celsus in Trier. . With others who had been converted to Christianity, he first went to Milan , where he was Ordained a Priest, then to Rome.

In Rome he cured the paralytic daughter of his host Gratianus, who had given him access to his home on Tiber Island. Gratianus and his family then converted to Christianity. Emygdius also cured a blind man. The people of Rome believed him to be the son of Apollo and carried him off by force to the Temple of Aesculapius on the island in the Tiber, where he cured many of the sick. Emygdius declared himself a Christian, however and tore down the pagan altars and smashed into pieces a statue of Aesculapius. H e also converted many to Christianity which enraged the Prefect of the City.

He was Consecrated a Bishop by Pope Marcellus and sent to Ascoli Piceno. On his way to Ascoli, Emygdius converted many more people, and performed a miracle where he made water gush out of a rockface after striking a portion of a cliff. Polymius, the local Governor, attempted to convince Emygdius to worship Jupiter and the goddess Angaria, the patroness of Ascoli. Polymius also offered him the hand of his daughter Polisia. Instead, Emygdius baptised her as a Christian in the waters of the Tronto, along with many others.

St Emygdius baptising Polisia

Enraged, Polymius decapitated him on the spot now occupied by the Sant’Emidio Red Temple, as well as his followers Eupolus (Euplus), Germanus and Valentius (Valentinus). Emygdius stood up, carried his own head to a spot on the mountainside, where he had constructed an Oratory (the site of the present-day Sant’Emidio alla Grotte). After Emygdius’ Martyrdom, his followers attacked Polymius’ palace and pulled it down.

Sant’Emidio Red Temple
The Martyrdom of St Emygdius

His hagiography was written probably by a Monk of French origin in the eleventh century, after the rediscovery of the Saint’s relics, which had been conserved in a Roman sarcophagus. However, his hagiography was attributed to his disciple Valentius, who was Martyred with him. The cult of Saint Emygdius is ancient, documented by Churches dedicated to him since the eighth century. The translation of his relics from the catacomb of Sant’Emidio alla Grotte to the Crypt of the Cathedral of Ascoli, happened probably around the year 1000 under Bernardo II, Bishop of Ascoli Piceno.

St Emygdius’ Tomb in Ascoli Cathedral

In 1703, a violent earthquake occurred in the Marche but did not affect the City of Ascoli Piceno. The City’s salvation was attributed to Emygdius and he was thenceforth, invoked against earthquakes. As a result of this event, a Church was deciated to the Saint in 1717. Additionally, many Towns appointed him as Patron, erecting Statues in his honour in the Parish Churches (L’Aquila, 1732; Cingoli, 1747; San Ginesio, 1751; and Nocera Umbra, 1751)

Emygdius is considered to have protected Ascoli from other dangers. A dazzling vision of Emygdius deterred Alaric I, King of the Visigoths, from destroying Ascoli in 409. The troops of Conrad II, Holy Roman Emperor passed through the region in 1038 carrying the dreaded disease – the Plague; Bernardo I, Bishop of Ascoli, invoked Emydgius’ aid and the spread of the Plague was immediately arrested. During World War II, on 3 October 1943, Emygdius protected the City against the Germans and against the hunting and arrest of the Italian partisans.

Statue of Saint Elgdius baptising Polisia, in Foligno Cathedral

The Annunciation, with Saint Emygdius is an Altarpiece by Italian artist Carlo Crivelli showing an artistic adaptation of the Annunciation. The Altarpiece was painted for the Church of the Annunziata in Ascoli Piceno, in the region of Marche, to celebrate the self-government granted to the town in 1482 by Pope Sixtus IV. St Emygdius is shown in the passageway on the left.


Dedication of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major / Our Lady of the Snows, Our Lady of the Snow, Adro, Italy (1519) and Memorials of the Saints – 5 August

Dedication of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major / Our Lady of the Snows (Optional Memorial)

Nostra Signora della Neve / Our Lady of the Snow, Adro, Italy (1519) – 5 August, 8 July:

St Abel of Rheims
St Addai
St Aggai of Edessa
Bl Arnaldo Pons
St Cantidianus
St Cantidius
St Cassian of Autun
St Casto of Teano
Bl Corrado of Laodicea
St Emygdius (Died c 303) Bishop Martyr
St Eusignius
St Gormeal of Ardoilen
Bl James Gerius
St Margaret the Barefooted
St Mari
St Memmius of Châlons-sur-Marne
St Nonna

St Oswald of Northumbria (604-642) Martyr and King.

St Paris of Teano
Bl Pierre-Michel Noël

Blessed Salvio Huix-Miralpeix C.O. Cong Orat (1877–1936) Bishop of Ibiza and later of Lleida, Catalonia and Martyr. Religious of the Congration of the Oratory of St Philip Neri, Professor of Theology, Apostle of the sick.
His Life and Death:

St Sobel
St Theodoric of Cambrai-Arras
St Venantius of Viviers
St Viator

Martyrs of Fuente la Higuera: A group of Augustinian priests and clerics who were martyred together in the Spanish Civil War. 5 August 1936 in Fuente la Higuera, Valencia, Spain. They were Beatified on 28 October 2007 by Pope Benedict XVI.
10 Beati:
• Anastasio Díez García
• Ángel Pérez Santos
• Cipriano Polo García
• Emilio Camino Noval
• Felipe Barba Chamorro
• Gabino Olaso Zabala
• Luciano Ramos Villafruela
• Luis Blanco Álvarez
• Ubaldo Revilla Rodríguez
• Victor Gaitero González

Martyrs of the Salarian Way: Twenty-three Christians who were martyred together in the persecutions of Diocletian.
303 on the Salarian Way in Rome, Italy.

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
Bl Eduardo González Santo Domingo
Bl Jaume Codina Casellas
Bl José Trallero Lou
Bl Lluís Domingo Mariné
Bl Manuel Moreno Martínez
Bl Maximino Fernández Marinas
Bl Victor García Ceballos