Thought for the Day – 16 August – Renouncing All Things

Thought for the Day – 16 August – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Renouncing All Things

If we want God to take possession of our souls, we must drive out every inordinate affection to earthly things.
It is not possible for God to dwell within us, if we are still attached to sin or preoccupied with worldly aims.

God should reign supreme in us and inspire all our desires and actions.
This can never happen if we retain an attachment to deliberate sin, even if it is not grave sin.
In the case of venial sin, it is not so much the sin which prevents God from ruling us absolutely, as the attachment to sin.

It is possible for anybody to fall through human weakness, “for the just man falls seven times and rises again” (Prov 24:16).
It is when we remain willingly in the state of sin, that we offend God and weaken our faith and charity.

At such times, it is as if Jesus were asleep within us, as He slept in the boat during the storm on the lake of Galilee, when the terrified Apostles cried out:   “Lord save us! We are perishing!” (Mt 8:25).
We must keep ourselves free from all trace of sin, if we wish to remain intimately united with God and to be governed only by Him!”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci


Quote/s of the Day – 16 August – “Come, follow me”

Quote/s of the Day – 16 August – “Month of the Immaculate Heart” – Readings: Judges 2: 11-19; Psalm 106: 34-7, 39-40, 43ab and 44; Matthew 19: 16-22

Come, follow me”

Matthew 19:21

“You are my friends,
if you do the things
that I command you.”

John 15:14

“I have chosen you
and have appointed you,
that you should go
and should bring forth fruit
and your fruit should remain,
says the Lord.”

John 15:16

“This is the glory of man –
to persevere and remain
in the service of God.
For this reason,
the Lord told His disciples:

‘You did not choose Me but I chose you.’
He meant that His disciples
did not glorify Him by following Him
but, in following the Son of God,
they were glorified by Him.
As He said:
‘I wish that where I am
they also may be,
that they may see My glory.’”

St Irenaeus (c 130 – c 202)
Bishop & Martyr, Father of the Church

“A person who wishes
to become the Lord’s disciple
must repudiate a human obligation,
however honourable it may appear,
if it slows us, ever so slightly,
in giving the wholehearted obedience
we owe to God.”

St Basil the Great (329-379)
Father and Doctor of the Church

“Neither do I condemn you
but, having been made secure
concerning the past,
be on your guard in the future.
I, for My part, will not condemn you,
I have blotted out what you have done;
keep what I have commanded,
that you may gain
what I have promised.”

St Augustine (354-430)
Father & Doctor of Grace


One Minute Reflection – 16 August – “If you would be perfect … ” Matthew 19:21

One Minute Reflection – 16 August – “Month of the Immaculate Heart” – Readings: Judges 2: 11-19; Psalm 106: 34-7, 39-40, 43ab and 44; Matthew 19: 16-22

“If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven.” – Matthew 19:21

REFLECTION – “After his parents’ death … when Anthony was about eighteen or even twenty years old …) he went into the Church when it happened that the Gospel was being read,and he heard the Lord saying to the rich man: “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven.” It was as if the passage were read on his account. Immediately Antony went out from the Lord’s house and gave to the townspeople the possessions he had from his forebears. And selling all the rest that was portable, when he collected sufficient money, he donated it to the poor, keeping a few things for his sister.

But when, entering the Lord’s house once more, he heard in the Gospel the Lord saying, “Do not be anxious about tomorrow” (Mt 6:34), he could not remain any longer but going out he gave those remaining possessions also to the needy. Placing his sister in the charge of respected and trusted virgins, and giving her over to the convent for rearing, he devoted himself from then on to the discipline rather than the household, giving heed to himself and patiently training himself ….

He worked with his hands, though, having heard that “he who is idle, let him not eat” (2 Thess 3:10). And he spent what he made partly for bread and partly on those in need. He prayed constantly, since he learned that it is necessary to “pray unceasingly” (Lk 21:36) in private. For he paid such close attention to what was read that nothing from Scripture did he fail to take in, rather, he grasped everything and in him the memory took the place of books. … All those then, who were from his village and those good people with whom he associated, seeing him living thus, used to call him ‘God-loved‘, and some hailed him as ‘son‘, some as ‘brother‘.” – St Athanasius (297-373) Bishop of Alexandria, Father and Doctor of the Church – Life of Saint Anthony, the Father of Monks, 2-4

PRAYER – Lord God, You filled the Saints with strength and courage and gave them the knowledge of unity with You. Grant, we pray, that in imitation of them, we may defend the Catholic faith and renew all things in Christ, Your Son. Help us Holy Father, to follow the example of the Immaculate Heart of the Mother of Your Son and all Your Saints and finally inherit eternal life ,with Youts. We make our prayer through Christ, our Lord with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.


Our Morning Offering – 16 August – Mary, our Queen and Mother of Mercy By St Anthony of Padua

Our Morning Offering – 16 August – “Month of the Immaculate Heart”

Mary, our Queen and Mother of Mercy
By St Anthony of Padua (1195-1231)
Evangelical Doctor of the Church

Mary, our Queen,
Holy Mother of God,
we beg you to hear our prayer.
Make our hearts overflow with Divine grace
and resplendent with heavenly wisdom.
Render them strong with your might
and rich in virtue.
Pour down upon us the gift of mercy
so that we may obtain the pardon of our sins.
Help us to live in such a way
as to merit the glory and bliss of heaven.
May this be granted us, by your Son Jesus
Who has exalted you above the Angels,
has crowned you as Queen,
and has seated you with Himself
forever, on his refulgent throne.

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 16 August – Saint Ugolina of Vercelli (c 1239-c 1300)

Saint of the Day – 16 August – Saint Ugolina of Vercelli (c 1239-c 1300) Virgin, Anchorite Recluse, Penitent, Spiritual advisor. The very strange story that of this Blessed Ugolina who shut herself in a hermitage, representing herself as a man and remained there for forty-seven years! The aim of her subterfuge was to escape the aims of her father, who wished her to marry. In order not to reveal her secret, she called herself Ugo without revealing her identity to anyone. for nearly fifty years. In the hermitage she grew in faith and prayer. When she died then it became known that she was a woman and it was possible to reconstruct her story in the midst of everyone’s surprise and admiration.

The first biographer of St.Ugolina, who wrote immediately after her death, was the Dominican Confessor Father Valentino. These important memories, already unavailable in the 18th century, are cited by the Franciscan, Ludovico della Croce who, consulting them, wrote in the mid-17th century what is today the oldest biography. Unfortunately, the work has the main purpose of handing down the virtues and not the historical information on this Saint, whose life is similar to other figures that arose in the Middle Ages, in imitation of the eastern anchorites.

Ugolina was born in Vercelli in 1239, in the noble and wealthy De Cassami family (or De Cassinis, according to recent studies). Her coming into the world was a grace for the pious parents who saw in her, an only child, a precious gift and surrounded her with thoughtful care.

At the age of ten, she admirably exercised charity towards his neighbour, the constant practice of personal and community prayer and perfect adherence to the teachings of her parents. She had a great love for pilgrims, who were numerous in those times. When she learned that the destination was the Holy Land, her interest became intense, giving them food and money for the journey.

The first great test for the young woman came when she was only fourteen years old – the one who had physically generated her and who had formed her spirit according to the noblest Christian sentiments ,died. So she stayed with her father who, unfortunately, only briefly curbed the urge to seduce her. The most horrendous of family crimes was thus about to be consummated, in that once happy home. The Lord did not abandon Ugolina who, with good manners and, above all with prayer, managed to lead her father back to the right path. The family balance, however, was compromised and Ugolina matured the vocation that she already felt in her heart. The only confidant was a woman named Libera, to whom she manifested the desire to serve Christ with prayer, living withdrawn from the world. Libera told her to ponder the decision thoroughly, waiting for a heavenly sign. Ugolina decided that she would carry out the escape when her father was absent for business and this happened the very next day, when the parent went to Turin. Wearing men’s clothes and a hood, the maiden left the palace.

The extraordinary and dangerous inspiration led her to a wood, a mile away from the City, where the Chapel of St Mary of Bethlehem stood. Next to it was the cell, now empty, of a hermit named Favorino who, on his return from the Holy Land, had built that hermitage to live in holiness. Ugolina decided that it would be her new home.

For forty-seven years, pretending to be a man named Ugone, she lived with the bare necessities, in prayer, between intense talks with God and penances to fight the temptations that certainly were not lacking.

The distance from the City was ,however, short and, therefore ,the Chapel became a point of reference for the whole surrounding area, a place of prayer, comfort, advice, for people of different social classes. Ugolina communicated, without showing her face, through a small window. Only the Confessor and confidant ,Libera, knew who that anchorite really was.

The ancient biographer gives us a singular fact. A poor widow from Vercelli, heavily harassed by the City’s evil Procurator, asked Ugolina for help, who exceptionally let her into her cell. At midnight the following day, in the Chapel next door, an Angel comforted them by telling them that the persecutor would pay for his misdeeds. Shortly thereafter he was in fact condemned. The woman kept the secret, then went every day to see her. So many years passed, until Ugolina’s health declined – stomach upsets and fevers forced her to bed. A few days before her death she called Father Valentino for general Confession and Holy Communion. She died on 16 August c 1300.

The news quickly spread around the City. The Priest went to the Bishop, Aimone di Challant, who was already informed of the facts. In solemn procession, with the clergy and the people, he wanted to pay homage to her. Ugolina, on a poor bed, rested in the peace of the Lord, with the side of the Crucifix, which she held in her hands, resting on her mouth. The Bishop, moved, knelt down and kissed her hands. All the people paraded in front of the body, finally discovering that she was the daughter of the rich De Cassami.

According to her will, she was buried in the cell, then, subsequently, in the Church. The tomb became a destination for pilgrims, often miraculous. She was a Saint by popular acclaim, with a feast on 8 August. In 1453 the Franciscans erected an important Convent next to the Church, called St Maria di Billiemme (from Bethlehem), continuing their devotion to the Saint.
The Chapel, with its ribbed vaults, was exquisitely frescoed in the 16th century, while the cell was destroyed in the siege of 1704. In 1996 the centuries-old presence of the Franciscans ceased, taken over by the Marianist Fathers.


Nuestra Señora de las Gracias de Torcoroma / Our Lady of Graces of Torcoroma, Colombia (1711) and Memorials of the Saints – 16 August

Nuestra Señora de las Gracias de Torcoroma / Our Lady of Graces of Torcoroma, Ocaña, Norte de Santander, Colombia (1711) – 16 August:

The holy apparition took place on 16 August, 1711. At that time, there lived in the Mountains of Torcoroma in the Ocaña region, a peasant family dedicated mainly to the cultivation of cane with which they made sweets. The family consisted of Don Cristóbal Melo, his wife Pascuala Rodríguez and their two children, José and Felipe. According to their contemporaries, the Melo-Rodríguez were people of good morals and a life consecrated to the Christian Faith.
One morning Don Cristóbal sent his children to cut down a tree, that had wood good enough to carve the box or “canoe” with which he made his sweets. The young boys went into the mountain and as they entered the thick of the forest ,they marked the oaks that were suitable for their purpose. Until they found one that was a “wonder” and despite the fact that it was summer, it had fragrant red flowers. Such was the perfume that it could be perceived from afar.
Excited about the great find, they proceeded to cut down the tree. Given its complicated location, when cutting its base, the main part fell into a ravine. It was dusk and the boys resolved to return home and discuss the event with their father. The next day they restarted their search for the appropriate tree, but not finding one that suited their purposes, they determined to use the one already felled and went to the place where it had fallen.
They began to carve the “canoe” right there and shortly after taking the first ax blows, a light so intense came out that it reached out and illumined the lush forest. When the father realised what was lying in the middle of the splinters of the trunk, he, without thinking for a second, put his hands where his sons were preparing to take the next blow, stopping them suddenly. The father and his children were astonished when they saw, in the heart of the trunk, the image of the Virgin, with her hands together and placed on her chest, with the action of her face “as if directed to heaven,” shining with a great light and with an intense and aromatic perfume.
The news of the holy apparition quickly spread through the Ocaña region. Upon reaching the ears of the Priest and Vicar of the City, Fr.Diego Gabino Quintero, he asked Cristóbal Melo to present himself with the image of the Virgin. After carefully examining it and having listened to numerous testimonies that affirmed the divinity of the image, the Priest authorised its private worship.

In 1716 Fray Antonio Monroy y Meneses, Bishop of Santa Marta , came on a pastoral visit and after a rigorous analysis of the image that appeared and the testimony of the witnesses, he granted permission for a Chapel to be erected on the site of the appearance and ordered that the image be brought to the cCty to place it on the Altar of the main Church, today the Cathedral of Santa Ana . The image would rest in the Church for several years while awaiting the Chapel, which was only built in 1882 thanks to the financing of Bogota parishioners. Finally, at the beginning of the 20th century, the image would be definitively transferred to the Sanctuary, where it is visited not only by its faithful but by thousands of pilgrims every year..

St Stephen of Hungary (c 975- 1038) King of Hungary (Optional Memorial) “Apostle of Hungary,” King and Confessor, Marian devotee,  Apostle of Charity, Evangeliser and Missionary. 

Blessed Angelo Agostini Mazzinghi O.Carm. (1385-1438) was an Italian Priest and a professed member of the Carmelite Order.   He was a noted preacher, prior and reformer, teacher of theology and was known for his pious devotion to the Holy Eucharist, the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Carmelite Rule of Life and to the profession of the Gospel. 
His Life:

St Armel of Brittany (Died c 570) Priest, Monk, Missionary, Confessor, Evangeliser, spiritual adviser, Miracle-worker .,
His Life:

St Arsacius of Nicomedia
St Frambaldo
Bl Iacobus Bunzo Gengoro
Bl Jean-Baptiste Menestrel
Bl John of Saint Martha
Bl Laurence Loricatus
Bl Magdalena Kiyota Bokusai
Bl Maria Gengoro
Bl Ralph de la Futaye

St Roch (1295-1327) “Pilgrim,” Confessor, Hermit, Apostle of the Sick, Miracle Worker.
The story of St Roch here:

St Serena
Bl Simon Kiyota Bokusai
Bl Thomas Gengoro
St Titus the Deacon
St Ugolina of Vercelli (c 1239-c 1300) Anchorite, Recluse

Martyrs of Palestine – 33 saints: Thirty-three Christians martyred in Palestine; they are commemorated in old martyrologies, but the date and exact location have been lost.

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
Bl Amadeu Monje Altés
Bl Antonio María Rodríguez Blanco
Bl José María Sanchís Mompó
Bl Laurentí Basil Matas
Bl Plácido García Gilabert