I ask for your prayers please as tomorrow I undergo surgery on my right eye. This is just a maintenance procedure and an attempt to keep this eye functioning to the best of it’s, not very good, ability.
Sadly, my left eye is beyond help. BUT we have many Saints who are Patrons of eye ailments and diseases. St Lucy, of course, St Augustine, St Raphael the Archangel (of the blind), St Clare of Assisi, St Odelia, St Leodagar of Poitiers, St Giovanna of Orvieto (25 July posted this year) and MORE ….
I will be out of action for a few days but you will all remain in my prayers. “May the Lord Jesus touch all our eyes!“
Thought for the Day – 17 August – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Doing Everything for the Love of God
“In one of his letters, Luther wrote that he was so busy that he had no time to read his Breviary, nor to offer Holy Mass. There is no doubt that it was this estrangement from prayer and from the love of God, which caused him to finish up as he did. Our work must be based on charity and the interior life, so that we may be always united with God. Otherwise, every action of ours, no matter how good it may appear, is sterile and valueless in the sight of God.
Today also, there are many people busily engaged in apostolic work but they have no interior life nourished by charity. This is what is known as the heresy of action.
Everything we do is useless and even harmful, if our external activity is not accompanied by a flourishing interior life, enriched by divine grace. St Gregory the Great paraphrases the words of the Gospel as follows: “Our Lord says: If anyone loves Me, let him keep my commandments. Love is proved by action. This is why St John (1 Jn 2:4) says, that the man who claims to love God and does not keep His commandments, is a liar. We love God sincerely if we keep His commandments and avoid the immoderate pleasures of our age. Anyone who surrenders without reserve to the unlawful desires of this world, certainly does not love God because, he is acting contrary to His will.” (Homil 30 in Ev).”
Quote/s of the Day – 17 August – “Month of the Immaculate Heart” – Readings: Judges 6: 11-24a; Psalm 85: 9-14; Matthew 19: 23-30
“Behold we have left all things, and have followed thee”
“For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.”
“I am the Way, the Truth and the Life”
“Let us listen to the Lord: “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life” (Jn 14:6). If you are looking for the Truth, follow the Way which is also the Truth. This is where you are going and it is how you go. It is not by another thing that you go to something; it is not by anything else that you come to Christ; it is through Christ that you come to Christ. How to Christ through Christ? To Christ God through Christ man; through the Word made flesh, to the Word who was with God, from the beginning; through what we have eaten to what the angels eat daily. In fact it is what is written: “He gave them bread from heaven; man ate the bread of angels” (Ps 77:24-25). What is the bread of angels? “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was in God and the Word was God” (Jn 1:1-3). How has man eaten the bread of angels? “And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.”
Saint Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of Grace
“May Christ be heard in our language, may Christ be seen in our life, may He be perceived in our hearts”
St Peter Damian (1007-1072) Father and Doctor of the Church
“… It is Him you should love and no other. Of Him you could and should say “My Beloved is mine and I am his” (Sg 2:16); my God has given Himself without reserve and, without reserve, I give myself to Him; He has chosen me as the object of His tenderness and He, among thousands, He, the radiant and ruddy one (Sg 5:10), so loveable and so loving, He is the chosen of my heart, the only one I wish to love.”
St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787) Most Zealous Doctor
One Minute Reflection – 17 August – “Month of the Immaculate Heart” – Readings: Judges 6: 11-24a; Psalm 85: 9-14; Matthew 19: 23-30
“And everyone who has left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive back a hundredfold and shall possess life everlasting.” – Matthew 19:29
REFLECTION – “Seek for nothing, desiring to enter for love of Jesus, with detachment, emptiness and poverty in everything in this world. You will never have to do with necessities greater than those to which you made your heart yield itself – for the poor in spirit are most happy and joyful in a state of privation and he who has set his heart on nothing, finds satisfaction everywhere.
The poor in spirit (Mt 5:3) give generously all they have and their pleasure consists in being thus deprived of everything for God’s sake and out of love to their neighbour … Not only do temporal goods – the delights and tastes of the sense – hinder and thwart the way of God but spiritual delights and consolations also, if sought for or clung to eagerly, disturb the way of virtue.” – St John of the Cross (1542-1591) Carmelite, Doctor of the Church – Spiritual maxims, nos. 352, 355,356, 364; 1693 edition
PRAYER – Father of might and power, every good and perfect gift comes to us from You. Implant in our hearts the love of Your Name and Your creatures. Increase our zeal for Your service by following behind Your Son with determination and joy. Nourish in us what good and tend it with watchful care. Grant that the prayers and caring love of the Blessed Virgin, our Mother, may help us to follow Jesus our Saviour unreservedly and thus attain eternal life. We make our prayer through Christ, our Lord in the union of the Holy Spirit, one God for all eternity, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 17 August – “Month of the Immaculate Heart”
Jesus, Joy of Loving Hearts By St Bernard (1090-1153) Mellifluous Doctor of the Church and the last Father of the Church
Jesus, joy of loving hearts, You Fount of life, You Light of men, from the best bliss that earth imparts we turn unfilled to You again. We taste You, O You living Bread, and long to feast upon You still. We drink of You, the Fountainhead, and thirst our souls from You to fill. O Jesus, ever with us stay, make all our moments calm and bright; chase the dark night of sin away, shed o’er the world Your holy light. Amen, Amen
Saint of the Day – 17 August – Saint Beatrice da Silva Meneses OIC (1424-1492) Virgin, Founder of The Order of the Immaculate Conception known as the Conceptionists, a contemplative Order of Nuns. Born in 1424 as Beatriz de Menezes da Silva, in Campo Maior, Portalegre, Portugal and died on 17 August 1492 in Toledo, Spain of natural causes. Also known as – Brites, Beatrix da Silva, Beatriz da Silva Meneses. Patronage – prisoners. Additional Memorial – 1 September in the Franciscan Order.
Beatrice da Silva was a Portuguese noble woman, one of eleven children born to Rui Gomes da Silva – first Governor of Campo Major, Portugal, after it was reconquered from Arab rule – and of Isabel de Menezes, the Countess of Portalegre. One of her brothers was the Blessed Amadeus of Portugal, OFM, a noted Confessor and Reformer of the Order of Friars Minor. (His life here: https://anastpaul.com/2018/08/10/saint-of-the-day-blessed-amadeus-of-portugal-o-f-m-1420-1482/.
She was raised in the Castle of Infante John, Lord Reguengos de Monsaraz. In 1447 Beatrice accompanied his daughter, Princess Isabel of Portugal, as her Lady in Waiting when Isabel went to marry King John II of Castile and Leon. She became a close friend of the Queen but unfortunately her beauty made Isabel jealous. It is said that a suitor, whom Beatrice had rejected, insinuated to the Queen that Beatrice was a rival for the King’s affections and she imprisoned Beatrice in a tiny cell. There is a story that she shut her in a chest. After a few days a relative, concerned about Beatrice’s welfare, persisted in questioning Isabel – the Queen showed him the chest where, expecting to find a body, he found Beatrice in perfect health. While imprisoned, Beatrice had a vision of Our Lady, who told her to found a new Order in her name.
Beatrice escaped and went to Toledo. On the journey she met two Franciscan Friars who told her she would be the mother of many children. She protested that she had taken a vow of purity to the Queen of Heaven. “What we have said will come to be,” they told her and then they vanished. Beatrice believed that Mary had sent St Francis and St Anthony to give her consolation.
In Toledo she took refuge with the Dominican nuns and for 37 years led a life of holiness without becoming a member of the Order. In 1484 Beatrice and a few companions took possession of a Palace in Toledo set apart for them by the new Queen Isabella (who married Ferdinand of Aragon). Isabella of Castile was a devout woman and took a great interest in Beatrice’s work. The Monastery was named Santa Fe, which was dedicated to honouring the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
In 1489, with the permission of Pope Innocent VIII, the Nuns adopted the Cistercian rule, bound themselves to daily recitation of the Divine Office of the Immaculate Conception and were placed under obedience to the ordinary of the Diocese. Beatrice chose the habit, which is white with a white scapular and blue mantle with a medallion of Mary under her title of the Immaculate Conception.
Beatrice died in 1492 in the Monastery which she had founded. Her remains are still venerated in the Chapel of that Monastery.
In 1501 Pope Alexander VI united the Nuns of Sante Fe, which Beatrice had founded, with the neighbouring Benedictine Monastery of San Pedro de las Duenas and put them all under the Rule of St Clare. Through this, the Order became connected with the Franciscans. Pope Julius II gave the Order a rule of life of its own in 1511 and special constitutions were drawn up by the Franciscan Cardinal Francisco de Quinones, establishing the community as the Monastery of the Immaculate Conception. The Order spread in Europe and South America. At its height, there were some 2,000 Monasteries of the Order throughout the world.
Beatrice was Beatified on 28 July 1926 by Pope Pius XI and Canonised on 21 January 1974 by Pope Paul VI (decree on heroic virtues). Recorded miracles involved the instantaneous and perfect healing of Sister Mary of Saint Anne, 22, from a hemorrhage subretinica, retinicis and a secondary lesions of the eye on 25 March 1923 in Mexico City;and Elizabeth Orozco Estrada, 63, from the small intestine and colon malignant neoplasia in September 1945 in Mexico City.
Victory of the King of France (Philip the Fair), imploring the help of Our Lady of Chartres (1304) – 17 August:
It was on this day in the year 1304 that “Philip the Fair” gained a signal victory over the Flemish after recommending himself to Our Lady of Chartres.
The eldest son of King Philip and Isabella of Aragon, he was nicknamed Philip the Fair while yet a Prince for his handsome features. He became King of France at only 17 years of age and married Joan of Navarre in 1284, which enlarged his Kingdom. In the year 1302, Philip sent an inadequate army into Flanders to suppress the Flemish, who were making incursions into his realm at will. His army was soundly defeated at the Battle of the Golden Spurs. Philip responded by winning a naval victory over the Flemish at Zierichzee and then met the Flemish army at the Battle of Mons-en-Pevele, also known as Mons-en-Puelle, on 17 August 1304.
The battle was furious, lasting all day in extreme heat. Eventually the majority of the French army fled the field, leaving Philip alone with only ten Knights fighting desperately to save themselves and their King. Philip’s horse collapsed, having been killed under him and his life was in great danger of being lost. At that moment, while facing death and certain defeat in battle, Philip turned to the Queen of Heaven, Our Lady of Chartres, begging her assistance to save the day and his life. Suddenly the French Knights, who had been fleeing the field, turned and saw the King’s Royal Standard still stood, and that he, himself, fought like a Knight of great renown amidst a sea of raging enemies. Racing to the scene with their swords and lances, they turned the Flemish and drove them from the field in what became a resounding victory for the King of France. The Battle of the Golden Spurs was well compensated. In gratitude for this victory and favour of Our Lady of Chartres, King Philip went at once to do homage to the Virgin Mary at her Cathedral. He took off his own armour and gave it to the Cathedral at the Altar. He also gave to it, in perpetuity, the land and lordship of Barrus, founded a daily Mass forever and left to this Church ,all of the other accoutrements which he had worn on that day of victory. This feast is kept in the Church of Notre Dame, at Paris, on the following day, the 18th and the office is double. This armour is formerly exhibited in the Church ,on the Anniversary of the battle.
St Amor of Amorbach St Anastasius of Terni St Beatrice da Silva Meneses OIC (1424-1492) Virgin, Nun, Founder
St Benedicta of Lorraine St Carloman St Cecilia of Lorraine
Bl Noël-Hilaire Le Conte St Paul of Ptolemais St Theodore of Grammont — Martyred in the Spanish Civil War: Bl Antoni Carmaniú Mercarder, Bl Facundo Escanciano Tejerina, Bl Eugenio Sanz-Orozco Mortera, Bl Enric Canadell Quintana, Florencio López Egea and see below – Martyrs of Malaga – 8 beati: A priest and seven brothers, all members of the Hospitallers of Saint John of God, all martyred together in the Spanish Civil War.