Daily Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, Thou has destroyed the power of death and given the hope of eternal life, for body and soul. Thou granted Thy Mother a special place in Thy glory and did not allow decay to touch her body. As we rejoice in the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, grant us renewed confidence in the victory of life over death. Amen
Day 8: Mary, Queen Assumed into Heaven, we rejoice that thou art the Queen of Heaven and Earth. Thou hast given thy holy fiat to God and thou art the Mother of our Saviour. Obtain peace and salvation for us through thy prayers, for thou have given birth to Christ our Lord, the Saviour of all mankind. Intercede for us and bring our petitions before the Throne of God. ………………………………. (Mention your request) Through thy prayers, may our souls be filled with an intense desire to be like thee a humble vessel of the Holy Spirit and a servant of the Almighty God. O Queen Assumed into Heaven, pray for us. Amen
Thought for the Day – 13 August – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Fundamental Facts – But tomorrow?
“Life is passing. The days chase one another; time is flying. Childhood has become a distant memory. Perhaps youth and manhood have also passed and gone and we find ourselves on the threshold of old age. All those days, months and years that have passed were gifts of God. He gave them to us for our benefit and sanctification. But what use have we made of them? Have we laid up treasure for eternal life? And, if we have not done so up to now, for what are we waiting? Let us remember the old saying, that we should never put off till tomorrow, what we can do today. Today there is still time to turn from sin, regain sanctifying grace and lead a life of Christian perfection. But tomorrow? What do we know about tomorrow? Tomorrow is in the hands of the Lord and we do not know if the Lord will grant us further time to make amends!
Do not say, therefore, that you will change tomorrow, that tomorrow you will turn away from the path of sin and begin to lead a holy life. For not alone does time pass but, it often betrays us! Our Lord tells us that the judgement will come at a time when we least expect it. The time that is gone will never return; the future is uncertain; there remains, only the present. But the present is equally uncertain; it is something that passes and, every moment could be the last of our lives. How many whom we have known, were taken away suddenly in the flower of their youth … Is that not a warning to us?
Let us do good while we have time; let us gain merit now, for eternal life. Amen”
Quote/s of the Day – 13 August – The Memorial of St Maximus the Confessor (c 580-662) Father of the Church
“Food is not evil – but gluttony is. Childbearing is not evil – but fornication is. Money is not evil – but avarice is. Glory is not evil – but vainglory is. Indeed, there is no evil in existing things – but only in their misuse!”
“To harbour no envy, no anger, no resentment against an offender, is still not to have charity for him. It is possible, without any charity, to avoid rendering evil for evil. But, to render, spontaneously, good for evil – such belongs to a perfect spiritual love.”
“In conformity with the philosophy of Christ, let us make of our life, a training for death.”
St Maximus the Confessor (c 580-662) Father of the Church
One Minute Reflection – 13 August – “Month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary” – Readings: Joshua 24: 1-13; Psalm 136: 1-3, 16-18, 21-22 and 24; Matthew 19: 3-12 and the Memorial of St Radegunde (c 518-587
And the two shall become one flesh – Matthew 19:5
REFLECTION – “Woman is not independent of man or man of woman in the Lord” (1 Cor 11:11) … Man and woman walk hand in hand to the Kingdom. Christ calls both man and woman, at one and the same time without distinction, united by God and joined together by nature, giving them a share in the same actions and tasks, in wonderful harmony. Through the marriage bond, God makes two, one and one, two in such a way, that another self is discovered, without loss of individuality or mingling in duality.
But why does God appeal thus to man and and to woman through the images He gives of His Kingdom? (cf. Lk 13:18-21). Why does He suggest such greatness by means of seemingly weak and inadequate examples? Oh my brethren! a priceless mystery is hidden under this poverty. As the Apostle Paul says: “This is a great mystery but I speak in reference to Christ and His Church” (Eph 5:32).
These parables suggest humanity’s greatest goal – man and woman have brought an end to the lawsuit against the world, a lawsuit that dragged on for centuries. The first man, Adam and first woman, Eve, are led from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil to the fire … of the Gospel …. Mouths sickened by the fruit of the poisoned tree are healed by the fiery taste of the tree of salvation, of that tree tasting of fire, which inflames consciences frozen by the former tree. Here nakedness makes no difference and no longer inspires shame, for man and woman are fully clothed in forgiveness.” – St Peter Chrysologus (406-450) Bishop of Ravenna, Doctor of the Church – Sermon 99 ; PL 52,477
PRAYER – Almighty Father, let Your light so penetrate our hearts and minds, that walking by Your commandments, we may always follow You, our teacher and our guide. Grant that the prayers of St Radegunde may continue to strengthen us. Through Jesus our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 13 August – “Month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary”
Shelter Me Under Your Mantle, O Refuge of Sinners By St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) Most Zealous Doctor
Most holy Virgin Immaculate, my Mother Mary, to you who are the Mother of my Lord, the Queen of the Universe, the Advocate, the hope, the refuge of sinners, I, who am the most miserable of all sinners, have recourse this day. I venerate you, great Queen and I thank you for the many graces you have bestowed upon me even unto this day, in particular for having delivered me from the hell which I have so often served by my sins. I love you, my dearest Lady and because of that love, I promise to serve you willingly forever and to do what I can, to make you loved by others also. I place in you all my hopes for salvation, accept me as your servant and shelter me under your mantle, you who are the Mother of Mercy. And since you are so powerful with God, deliver me from all temptations, or at least obtain for me the strength to overcome them until death. From you I implore a true love for Jesus Christ. Through you I hope to die a holy death. My dear Mother, by your love for Almighty God, I pray you to assist me always but most of all, at the last moment of my life. Forsake me not then, until you shall see me safe in heaven, there to bless you and sing of your mercies through all eternity. Such is my hope. Amen
Saint of the Day – 13 August – Saint Radegunde (c 518-587) Queen, Nun, Abbess, Ascetic, Founder of a female Convent of enclosed Nuns,named and dedicated to the Holy Cross of which a relic was enshrined, Sainte-Croixwho also cared for the sick within their Convent. Born c 518 in Erfurt, Saxony and died on 13 August 587 in Poitiers, France of natural causes. Also known as – Radegund, Rhadegund, Radegonde, Radigund, Radegundes.Patronages – against drowning, against fever, against leprosy, against scabies, against scabs, against the death of parents, against ulcers, difficult marriages, potters, weavers, Poitiers, France.
Radegunde was born about 518 to Bertachar, one of the three Kings of the German land Thuringia. Radegunde’s uncle, Hermanfrid, killed her father, Bertachar in battle and took Radegunde into his household. After allying with the Frankish King Theuderic, Hermanfrid defeated his other brother Baderic. However, having crushed his brothers and seized control of Thuringia, Hermanfrid reneged on his agreement with Theuderic to share sovereignty.
In 531, Theuderic returned to Thuringia with his brother Clotaire I. Together they defeated Hermanfrid and conquered his kingdom. Clotaire I also took charge of Radegunde, taking her back to Gaulwith him. He sent the child to his villa of Athies in Picardy for several years, before marrying her in 540.
Radegunde was one of Clotaire I’s six wives or concubine . She had no children with him. Radegunde was noted for her almsgiving and care of the poor and sick.
By 550 Radegunde’s brother was the last surviving male member of the Thuringian Royal family. Clotaire had him murdered. Radegunde fled the Court and sought the protection of the Church, persuading the Bishop of Noyon to ordain her as a Deaconess and founded the Monastery of Sainte-Croix in Poitiers in around 560, where she cared for the infirm. Radegunde was widely believed to have the gift of healing.
Living under the Rule for Virgins of Caesarius of Arles, the Nuns were required to be able to read and write and to devote several hours of the day to reading the Sacred Scriptures and copying manuscripts, as well as traditional tasks such as weaving and needlework. This Rule strictly enclosed women, to the point that Nuns of Sainte-Croix were unable to attend Radegunde’s funeral.
Her Abbey was named for the relic of the True Cross that Radegunde obtained from the Byzantine Emperor Justin II. Although the Bishop of Poitiers, Maroveus, refused to install it in the Abbey, at Radegunde’s request, King Sigebert sent Eufronius of Tours to Poitiers to perform the ceremony. To celebrate the relic and its installation into Sainte-Croix, St Venantius Fortunatus (c 530 – c 609) composed a series of hymns, including the famous Vexilla Regis, considered to be one of the most significant Christian hymns ever written, which is still sung for services on Good Friday, Palm Sunday, as well as the Exaltation of the Holy Cross
Radegunde was a close friend of St Junian of Maire;, Abbot. Junian and Radegunde are said to have died on the same day, 13 August 587.
She was known for her asceticism and penance and has been described as an “extreme ascetic.” She followed a vegetable diet,refusing all animal products. She ate nothing but legumes and green vegetables: – neither fruit nor fish nor eggs. She also abstained from wine, mead and beer. During Lent she abstained from bread, oil and salt, and only drank a little water. She acted against the advice of others who warned her that her extreme ascetism might make her ill. She bound her neck and arms with three iron circlets; her flesh was badly cut because of this. On one occasion she heated a brass cross and pressed it on her body.
The Saint Poet Venantius Fortunatus and the Bishop, hagiographer and historian, St Gregory of Tours, were close friends with Radegunde and wrote extensively about her. She wrote Latin poems to Fortunatus on tablets that have been lost. The three of them seem to have been close and Fortunatus’ relations with Radegunde were deeply spiritual. There are two poems written in the voice of Radegunde, De Excidio Thoringiae and Ad Artachin. While it has been proposed that Venantius wrote them, recent historians see her as the author.
Another biography was written by the Nun Baudovinia following a rebellion at the Abbey described by St Gregory of Tours.
Radegunde’s funeral, which St Venantius Fortunatus and St Gregory of Tours attended, was three days after her death. She was buried in what was to become the Church of St. Radegonde in Poitiers. Her tomb can still be found in the crypt of that Church, which remains the centre of devotion to her. In the 1260s a Church decoration program included stained-glass windows depicting Radegunde’s life. These were later largely destroyed by Huguenots.
In her book Woman Under Monasticism: Chapters on Saint-Lore and Convent Life between 500 and 1500 (1896) Lina Eckenstein drew the attention of modern readers to the rebellion of the Nuns at Poitiers after the death of Radegunde, during which, for a period of two years, they refused to accept a new Abbess who had been appointed by the male hierarchy.
St Anastasius the Monk St Anastasius the Priest St Benildus St Cassian of Imola St Cassian of Todi St Concordia St Conn O’Rourke Bl Gertrude of Altenberg St Helen of Burgos St Herulph of Langres Bl Jakob Gapp Bl John of Alvernia
St Nerses Glaietsi St Patrick O’Healy Bl Pierre Gabilhaud St Radegunde (c 518-587) Queen, Nun, Abbess St Wigbert of Fritzlar Bl William Freeman — Martyred in the Spanish Civil War: • Blessed Francesc Castells Areny • Blessed Inocencio García Díez • Blessed José Bonet Nadal • Blessed José Boher y Foix • Blessed José Juan Perot y Juanmarti • Blessed Jose Tàpies y Sirvant • Blessed Josep Alsina Casas • Blessed Luciano Hernández Ramírez • Blessed Maria de Puiggraciós Badia Flaquer • Blessed Mateo Despóns Tena • Blessed Modesto García Martí • Blessed Pascual Araguàs y Guàrdia • Blessed Pedro Martret y Molet • Blessed Silvestre Arnau y Pascuet