September – Month of The Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary
The Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary
1, The prophecy of Simeon 2. The Flight to Egypt 3. Loss of Child Jesus for 3 days 4. Meeting Jesus carrying His Cross 5. The Crucifixion of Jesus 6. The Pieta – receiving Jesus’ Body The Burial of Jesus
During this month of September, we are drawn into the spiritual Martyrdom which the Blessed Mother experienced during the physical Martyrdom of Jesus. The evils of sin are manifest but conquered through intense suffering. The Blessed Mother’s tears of anguish reflect God’s washing away of sin.
We see this theme of joy followed by affliction mirrored in the liturgical calendar in two September Feasts – the Exaltation of the Holy Cross on 14 September and the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows on 15 September. Happy the heart of the blessed Virgin Mary! She, without dying, earned the treasure of Martyrdom beneath the Cross of our Lord for her anguish.
The name of Our Lady of Sorrows centres on the extraordinary and bittersweet suffering the Blessed Mother experienced during Christ’s Passion. As seen in the artwork above, her agony is composed of “The Seven Dolors,” that pierced the Heart of Mary. Dürer’s portrayal of each event encompasses the central figure of Christ’s sorrowful Mother.
Thought for the Day – 1 September – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Problem of Evil
“In his second letter to the Thessalonians, the Apostle Paul speaks of the Anti-Christ, “the man of sin … the son of perdition, who opposes and is exalted above all that is called God…” “Already,” he says, “the mystery of iniquity is at work” (Cf 2 Thess 2:3-7). From the beginning of the Church’s history until the present time, it has always been the same.
There always have been and always will be, men who do evil, not from human weakness but, from motives of malice, so diabolical as to present something of a mystery to us. These can be called Anti-Christ because, they seem to be incarnations of the devil, the spirit of iniquity. They delight in spreading error, in corrupting minds and, in persecuting the Church. They are steeped in all kinds of baseness and nothing pleases them better, than to succeed in inducing the young and the innocent, to follow them in their sinful ways. For this purpose, they employ all the advantages of modern technical progress has to offer – the press, the cinema, the radio and television. In short, they use God’s gifts in their commercialisation of sin, in order to draw souls away from Him.
The realisation of this terrifying fact, provokes two questions. (1) How can such evil be permitted by God, Who made man for Himself and redeemed him with the Blood of His only-begotten Son? (2) What steps can we take to control this alarming and universal deluge of evil?
St Augustine answers the first question by pointing out, that the infinite and good God created us without any assistance from ourselves, but does not will to save us without our co-operatikon, since He has endowed us with the gift of liberty. Moreover, He prefers to draw good from evil, rather than to prevent the evil itself.
We must answer the second question ourselves, remembering that we have a serious obligation to combat evil in ourselves and in our fellow-men. What have we done up to now and what do wqe propose to do in the future?”
Quote/s of the Day – 1 September – “Month of the Seven Sorrows of Mary” – Readings: Colossians 1: 1-8; Psalms 52: 10, 11; Luke 4: 38-44
“And standing over her, he commanded the fever and it left her. And immediately rising, she ministered to them.”
May We Confess Your Name to the End By St Cyprian of Carthage (200-258) Bishop and Martyr Father of the Church
Good God, may we confess Your Name to the end. May we emerge unmarked and glorious from the traps and darkness of this world. As You have bound us together by charity and peace and as together we have persevered under persecution, so may we also rejoice together in Your heavenly kingdom. Amen
St Cyprian of Carthage (200-258)
“We implore You, O All-Holy, Long-Suffering Life and Restoration, Source of goodness, look down from heaven and visit all those who ever trust in You; rescue our life, Lord, from all constraint and affliction, and, in the faith of truth, guide us all. At the prayers of the Immaculate Mother of God and Virgin, Save your world and those in the world and spare us all, You who, for us, became man without change, only Lover of mankind.”
St Romanos the Melodios (c 490-c 556)
“Act as if everything depended on you; trust as if everything depended on God.”
St Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556)
“Do you know what those people are like who are not sustained by that holy Word or who abuse it? They are like the sick without a doctor, like a traveller who has gone astray without a guide, like a poor man without means. Let us rather say, my brethren, that it is altogether impossible to love God and please Him, without being nourished by this divine Word!”
One Minute Reflection – 1 September – “Month of the Seven Sorrows of Mary” – Readings: Colossians 1: 1-8; Psalms 52: 10, 11; Luke 4: 38-44
“And Simon’s mother-in-law was taken with a great fever and they besought him for her.”- Luke 4:38
REFLECTION – “Simon’s mother-in-law was lying on her bed with a fever.” O may Christ come into our house, enter and, with one word, heal the fever of our sins. Each of us is taken with fever. We have a fever every time we get angry; all our faults are just as much, a flaring up of fever. Let us ask the Apostles to pray to Jesus to come to us and take us by the hand for, as soon as He takes our hand, the fever will leave us.
He is the true, the great Physician, first amongst all physicians. Moses is a physician, Isaiah and all the saints are physicians but as for Jesus, He is the first amongst them all. He knows perfectly well, how to take our pulse and penetrate the mysteries of our sicknesses. He touches neither ear, nor face, nor any other part of the body but takes the hand …, namely our evil deeds. Firstly, He heals our deeds and then the fever vanishes.” – St Jerome (347-420) – Priest, Translator of Sacred Scripture, Father and Doctor of the Church – Homilies on Saint Mark’s Gospel, no. 2C ; PLS 2, 125 f., SC 494
PRAYER – God our Father, Your rule is a rule of love, Your providence is full of mercy for Your people. Through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin, Mother of the Word made flesh and His sorrowful Mother, grant the spirit of wisdom and understanding in Your Word, Your Son Jesus Christ. Grant that by the healing Word our repentant hearts may know our way to our eternal home and strive to attain eternal joy there with You. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 1 September – “Month of the Seven Sorrows of Mary”
As we enter the Month of our Sorrowful Mother, let us unite ourselves to her and offer her our meagre consolation.
What Can I Say? By St Anselm (1033-1109) Magnificent Doctor Marian Doctor
My most merciful Lady, what can I say about the fountains that flowed from your most pure eyes when you saw your only Son before you, bound, beaten and suffering? What do I know of the flood that drenched your matchless face, when you beheld your Son, your Lord and your God, stretched on the Cross without guilt, when the flesh of your flesh was cruelly butchered by wicked men? How can I judge, what sobs, troubled your most pure breast, when you heard, “Woman, behold your son,” and the disciple, “Behold, your Mother,” when you received as a son the disciple in place of the Master, the servant for the Lord? Amen
From “The Prayers and Meditations of Saint Anselm with the Proslogion,” Benedicta Ward, trans,1973, Penguin classics, Penguin Group (UK)
Saint of the Day – 1 September – Blessed Giuliana of Collalto (1186-1262) Benedictine Nun, Abbess, Thaumaturgist, apostle of the poor. Born in 1186 in Collalto, Susegana, Treviso, Italy and died on 1 September 1262 at Venice, Italy of natural causes. Also known as – Juliana. Patronages – against headaches, against migraines; of migraine sufferers. Her body is incorrupt.
The Roman Martyrology states of her today: “In Venice, Blessed Giuliana da Collalto, Abbess of the Order of Saint Benedict.”
Giuliana was born in Collalto (today a fraction of the Municipality of Susegana in the Province of Treviso, Italy) in 1186. Her parents were Count Rambaldo VI and Countess Giovanna di Sant’Angelo di Mantova.
She was educated in a Christian manner and very young, at the age of twelve, she wore the Benedictine habit in St Margherita di Salarola, on the Euganean Hills. Here she lived the first years of religious life in an exemplary way. In 1220 the Blessed Beatrice I d’Este entered the same Monastery and a deep friendship was born between the two chosen souls.
In the powerful and rich Venetian Republic, Monasteries also had their importance because young people from the most important and noble families were welcomed within their walls.
On the island of Spinalonga (now Giudecca) stood the ruined Church of St Cataldo. Giuliana, whose illustrious name in terms of wealth was by now also known for her excellent virtues, was entrusted with the foundation, next door, of a Monastery. Thus was born, in that abandoned place, a cloistered community that for centuries devoted itself to prayer. The Church was also dedicated to St Biagio. Giuliana, nominated Abbess, in addition to respecting the Rule for her own sanctification and that of her Sisters, always had particular regard for the poor. Her charity was known throughout the City and she performed many wonders while still alive. Following the laws of suppression of religious orders at the end of the eighteenth century, the building was then transformed into the Villa Albarea, being located right along the Riviera del Brenta.
During the last years of her life the blessed suffered from severe headaches, which earned her the Patronage of those who suffer from the same ailment. She died on 1 September 1262, at the age of seventy-six, of which sixty-four had been dedicated to the Lord. She was buried in the Church cemetery. Her memory remained alive and above all her fame as a thaumaturgist against migraines. Her biographers were several.
Around 1290 the body, found incorrupt, was placed in an artistic wooden sarcophagus. In 1733 the relics were placed in an Altar of the Church while exactly twenty years later (on 30 May) Pope Benedict XI confirmed the cult “ab immemorabili,” with her Memorial y on 1 September . In 1810 the body was moved to the Church of the Redentore and twelve years later to the parish of St Eufemia where it is still venerated in the Chapel of St Anna. In the Church of her birthplace there is a relic of the phalanx, a crown on which she rested her head, a pillow and part of the dress worn at the time of death. The ancient wooden sarcophagus is now kept at the Correr Museum in Venice. Her paintings are an ancient example of how Venetian painting was influenced, at that time, by the Byzantine style.
Collection of all the Feasts of Our Lady, celebrated at Louvain – 1 September:
The Abbot Orsini writes that “A feast is kept in honour of the Blessed Virgin, called the Collection of all the Feasts of Our Lady.”
Louvain refers to Leuven, the capital of the Province of Flemish Brabant in the Flemish Region of Belgium. There was once a Chapel called Our Lady of Louvain, which had stood near the Church tower of a separate Church dedicated to Saint Peter. The Chapel owed its origin to an image of the Blessed Virgin Mary that was given by a group of Monks from Abbey Park as a sign of brotherhood in 1132. According to tradition, the wooden statue, which depicted the Blessed Virgin seated with the Divine Child in her lap, was a gift from heaven deposited on the earth by heavenly Angels. The image excited a lively religious fervour upon its reception and there are numerous miracles credited to pious devotion to the image of Our Lady of Louvain.
Over 350 years later, as the Chapel of Our Lady of Louvain was built on land that was needed for the construction of the new and larger Church of Saint Peter, it was necessary to demolish the Chapel. In a letter dated 28 March 1496, Bishop John Horne of Liege, authorised the transfer of materials from the Chapel of Our Lady of Louvain to the new Basilica of Saint Peter The old Chapel was demolished two years later in 1498 and the Statue of the Virgin was placed on a special Altar in the collegiate Church of Saint Peter. Every year, on the eve of the first Sunday in September, the miraculous image of Our Lady of Louvain had been carried in procession by the canons and members of the local council while bells tolled and musicians accompanied the image singing the Salve Regina. Sometime later, the Statue became known by the title of Notre-Dame-sous-la-Tour. The original Church of Saint Peter was made entirely of wood and completed in about 986. It burned to the ground in 1176. It was rebuilt in Romanesque style with two west towers, and that image is still used as the ancient seal for the City. The Church was then enlarged in 1425 in the Brabantine Gothic style. The Church of Saint Peter was heavily damaged in both world wars but most importantly, the original Statue of Our Lady of Louvain was completely destroyed in 1944 by allied bombing during World War II and it is now only a replica that is on display at the Church.
Abigail the Matriarch St Aegidius St Agia St Anea St Arcanus St Arealdo of Brescia Bl Colomba of Mount Brancastello St Constantius the Bishop St Donatus of Sentianum St Felix of Sentianum
St Lythan St Nivard of Rheims St Priscus St Regulus St Sixtus of Rheims St Terentian St Verena St Victorious St Vincent of Xaintes — Exiles of Campania Twelve Holy Brothers: Martyrs of the South – A group of Martyrs who died c 303 at various places in southern Italy. In 760 their relics were brought together and enshrined in Benevento, Italy as a group. • Saint Arontius of Potenza • Saint Donatus of Sentianum • Saint Felix of Sentianum • Saint Felix of Venosa • Saint Fortunatus of Potenza • Saint Honoratus of Potenza • Saint Januarius of Venosa • Saint Repositus of Velleianum • Saint Sabinian of Potenza • Saint Sator of Velleianum • Saint Septiminus of Venosa • Saint Vitalis of Velleianum One tradition describes Saint Boniface of Hadrumetum and Saint Thecla of Hadrumetum as their parents.
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War: Martyred Hospitallers of Saint John of God – (12 beati) • Blessed Alejandro Cobos Celada • Blessed Alfonso Sebastiá Viñals • Blessed Amparo Carbonell Muñoz • Blessed Antonio Villanueva Igual • Blessed Carmen Moreno Benítez • Blessed Crescencio Lasheras Aizcorbe • Blessed Enrique López y López • Blessed Francesc Trullen Gilisbarts • Blessed Guillermo Rubio Alonso • Blessed Isidro Gil Arano • Blessed Joaquim Pallerola Feu • Blessed Joaquín Ruiz Cascales • Blessed José Franco Gómez • Blessed José Prats Sanjuán • Blessed Josep Samsó y Elias • Blessed Manuel Mateo Calvo • Blessed Mariano Niño Pérez • Blessed Maximiano Fierro Pérez • Blessed Miquel Roca Huguet • Blessed Nicolás Aramendía García • Blessed Pedro Rivera • Blessed Pio Ruiz De La Torre