Thought for the Day – 8 September – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Mary, Mother of God
“The near-infinite greatness of Mary, flows from the fact, that she is the Mother of God. The Eternal Word of the Father, consubstantial with Him in nature and equal to Him in majesty, willed to become man in order to set us free from the slavery of sin and to regain Heaven for us. He became man in the chaste womb of the Virgin Mary. He took a human body and soul and was born of her, as the God-Man. For this reason, there is attributed to His Divine Person, the title of Son of Mary and to Mary, the title of Mother of God.
There is a relationship between Mary and each of the three Divine Persons, for she is the daughter of God the Father, the spouse of the Holy Spirit by whose power the Word became incarnate in her and the mother of the Word made Man. She is, moreover, in the words of Dante, the “termine fisso di eterno consiglio” (Paradiso 33:1-3). In other words, she is the centre of the eternal plan which God established for the redemption of the human race. It was God’s eternal design to reunite creation to the Uncreated, by means of Mary. She became the mother of the Eternal Word, in whom the divine and human natures were indissolubly united. He redeemed us by His infinite merits but, in this work of redemption, He employed the co-operation of His holy Mother. All the graces, privileges and virtues of Mary, flow from this great mystery of her divine Motherhood. As befitted the future Mother of God, she was conceived free from the stain of original sin and full of grace. Her mortal life was a continuous ascent towards the highest peak of sanctity. When she died, she was assumed body and soul into Heaven, where she was crowned in glory, as Queen of Angels and Queen of Saints. When we consider the sublime nobility of Our Lady, we should be moved to love and venerate her. This love and veneration does not subtract in the slightest from God’s glory, because, she is the Mother of God. In fact, it is a great advantage to us, to imitate her and to call on her to intercede for us.”
Quote/s of the Day – 8 September – Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
“Mary, Mother of Grace, it becomes you to be mindful of us, as you stand near Him who granted you all graces, for you are the Mother of God and our Queen. Help us for the sake of the King, the Lord God and Master, Who was born of you.”
St Athanasius (297-373) Father & Doctor of the Church
“Go to Mary and sing her praises and you will be enlightened. For it is through her, that the true Light shines on the sea of this life.”
St Ildephonsus (607-670)
“Mary seeks for those who approach her devoutly and with reverence, for such she loves, nourishes, and adopts as her children. ”
St Bonaventure (1221-1274) Seraphic Doctor of the Church
“We may seek graces but shall never find them without the intercession of Mary.”
St Cajetan (1480-1547)
“If you put all the love, of all the mothers into one heart, it still would not equal the love of the Heart of Mary for her children.”
St Louis de Montfort (1673-1716)
“Never do anything that your heart tells you, is displeasing to Mary and, in addition, never deny her anything that you know she would welcome and desire from you.”
St Joseph Cafasso (1811-1860)
Mary, Mother of Grace St Athanasius (297-373) Father & Doctor of the Church
It becomes you to be mindful of us, as you stand near Him who granted you all graces, for you are the Mother of God and our Queen. Help us for the sake of the King, the Lord God and Master, Who was born of you. For this reason, you are called full of grace. Remember us, most holy Virgin, and bestow on us gifts from the riches of your graces, Virgin full of graces. Amen
One Minute Reflection –8 September – Feast of theNativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Readings: Micah 5:1-4a or Romans 8:28-30, Psalms 13:6, 6, Matthew 1:1-16, 18-23
“Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son – Matthew 1:23
REFLECTION – “Come, you nations; come, all peoples of every race and language, every age and rank. Joyfully let us celebrate the nativity of the whole world’s joy! If even the pagans honour the birthday of their king … what ought not we to do to honour that of the Mother of God, through whom all humanity has been transformed and the pain of Eve, our first mother, has been turned to joy? For Eve heard God’s sentence: “You will bring forth children in pain” (Gn 3:16) but Mary: “Rejoice, most highly favoured … the Lord is with you” (Lk 1:28). …
Let all creation celebrate and sing the holy childbirth of a holy woman, for she has brought a lasting treasure into the world. … Through her, the creative Word of God has been united to the whole creation and we celebrate the ending of human barrenness, the ending of the sickness that kept us from possessing all our good. … Nature has given way to grace … As the Virgin Mother of God had to be born of barren Anna, so nature remained without fruit until grace had produced its own. It was to open the womb of its mother, she who would give birth to “The Firstborn of all creation” in whom “all things hold together” (Col 1:15,17).
O blessed couple, Joachim and Anna! All creation owes you thanks; through you it has offered the Creator the best of all His gifts: a Mother worthy of veneration, the only Mother worthy of the One who created her. ”- St John Damascene (675-749) Monk, Theologian, Father and Doctor of the Church – Homily on the Nativity of the Virgin Mary, 1-2 (cf SC 80, p. 48)
PRAYER – Lord God, the day of our salvation dawned when the Blessed Virgin gave birth to Your Son. As we celebrate her nativity, grant us Your grace and Your peace. Through Christ, our Lord, Your Son in union with the Holy Spirit. Mary, Mother of God, pray for us, amen.
Saint of the Day – 8 September – Saint Pope Sergius I (c 650–701) Papal Ascension 15 December 687. Born in c 650 at Palermo, Sicily and died on 8 September 701 of natural causes in Rome, Italy.
Sergius was born about the year 650 into a Syrian family from Antioch that had moved to Palermo in Sicily. He received his education in Sicily before he moved to Rome during the Pontificate of Pope Adeodatus II in the 670s. Ordained by Pope Leo II, he was a Cardinal-Priest of the Church of St Susanna at the Baths of Diocletian in Rome.
As Pope Conon was dying in 687, two warring factions vied to elect a successor. In simultaneous elections after the death of Pope Conon the Archdeacon Pascal and the Priest Theodore were elected to the Papal throne. However, an assembled group of clergy and people ignored these elections and chose instead, the Priest Sergius, who was then consecrated on 15 December 687. Theodore, recognising the support behind the election of Sergius, quickly acknowledged Sergius I as Pope. Pascal, who had turned for help to the Exarch of Ravenna, John Platyn with offers of gold, was soon abandoned by the Exarch after the Consecration of Sergius and Pascal eventually ended up confined to a Monastery on charges of witchcraft.
During the early years of his Pontificate, Sergius had numerous contacts with England and English notables. He received King Caedwalla of the West Saxons and baptised him on 10 April 689, before his death on 20 April, apparently from battle wounds. Under Pope Sergius’ direction Caedwalla was buried in St Peter’s. He consecrated St Willibrord, an Englishman, as Bishop of the Frisians.
The cruel Emperor Justinian wanted him to sign the decrees of the so-called Quinisext or Trullan Council of 692, in which the Greeks allowed Priests and Deacons to keep the wives they had married before their Ordination and which aimed at placing the Patriarch of Constantinople on a level with the Pope of Rome. When Sergius refused to acknowledge this Synod, the Emperor sent an officer to bring him to Constantinople as a prisoner. But the people protected the Pope, and Justinian himself was soon afterwards deposed (695).
Sergius succeeded in extinguishing the last remnants of the Schism of the Three Chapters in Aquileia. He repaired and adorned many Basilicas, added the Agnus Dei to the Mass and instituted processions to various Churches.
Pope Sergius died in Rome on 8 September 701. He was succeeded by John VI.
The image below The Dream of Pope Sergius depicts an miraculous incident in the life of our Saint. A cut-away wall reveals a small bedroom where an Angel appears to Pope Sergius in his sleep. The Angel tells Sergius that the Bishop Saint Lambert has been assassinated and Sergius is to appoint a new Bishop, Saint Hubert. The Angel holds a Bishop’s mitre and crozier formerly belonging to Saint Lambert. To the right, the Pope and two Cardinals go out into a brick enclosure, meeting a lawyer or noble and a Franciscan friar, who both kneel before the Papal retinue and present petitions requesting benefits or indulgences. In the far distance, on the steps of the early Saint Peter’s Basilica, Pope Sergius presents Saint Hubert with the Bishop’s mitre and staff.
The artists made an imaginative effort to recreate Rome as it would have appeared at that time. The depiction of minutely detailed objects and the ability to portray space in a convincing manner were among the major achievements of Netherlandish painters in the 1400s.
Nuestra Senora de la Covadonga, also named “La Santina” / Our Lady of Covadonga (720) – 8 September:
This is a title of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the name of a Marian Shrine devoted to her at Covadonga, Asturias. The Shrine in northwestern Spain rose to prominence following the Battle of Covadonga in about 720, which was the first defeat of the Moors during their invasion of Spain. A Statue of the Virgin Mary, secretly hidden in one of the caves, was believed to have miraculously aided the Christian victory. Our Lady of Covadonga is the Patron of Asturias, and a Basilica was built to house the current Statue. Our Lady of Covadong’s east day is 8 September.
Our Lady of Health of Vailankanni (16th Century) – 8 September:
This is the title given to the Blessed Virgin Mary by people as she twice appeared in the town of Velankanni, Tamil Nadu, India, in the 16th to 17th centuries. The Feast of the Nativity of Mary, is also commemorated as the feast of Our Lady of Good Health. The celebration starts on 29 August and ends on the day of the feast. The feast day prayers are said in Tamil, Marathi, East Indian, Malayalam, Telugu, Kannada, Konkani, Hindi and English.
Nuestra Senora de la Meritxell / Our Lady of Meritxell (12th Century) – 8 September:
This is an Andorran Roman Statue depicting an apparition of the Virgin Mary. Our Lady of Meritxell is the Patron Saint of Andorra. On 6 January in the late 12th century, villagers from Meritxell, Andorra were going to Mass in Canillo. Though it was winter, they found a wild rose in bloom by the roadside. At its base was a Statue of the Virgin and Child. They placed the Statue in a Chapel in the Church in Canillo. The next day the Statue was found sitting under the wild rose again. Villagers from Encamp took the Statue to their Church but the next day the Statue had returned to the rose bush. Though it was snowing, an area the size of a Chapel was completely bare and the villagers of Meritxell took this to mean that they should build a Chapel to house the Statue and so they did. On 8-9 September 1972 the Chapel burned down and the Statue was destroyed, a copy now resides in the new Meritxell Chapel. The feast day of Our Lady of Meritxell is 8 September and the Andorran National Day.
St Adam Bargielski St Adela of Messines Bl Alanus de Rupe
St Timothy of Antioch Bl Wladyslaw Bladzinski — Martyrs of Alexandria – (5 saints) A group of Christians martyred together in the persecutions of Diocletian – Ammon, Dio, Faustus, Neoterius and Theophilus. Martyred in Alexandria, Egypt.
Martyrs of Japan – (21 beati): A group of 21 missionaries and converts who were executed together for their faith. • Antonio of Saint Bonaventure • Antonio of Saint Dominic • Dominicus Nihachi • Dominicus of Saint Francis • Dominicus Tomachi • Francisco Castellet Vinale • Franciscus Nihachi • Ioannes Imamura • Ioannes Tomachi • Laurentius Yamada • Leo Aibara • Lucia Ludovica • Ludovicus Nihachi • Matthaeus Alvarez Anjin • Michaël Tomachi • Michaël Yamada Kasahashi • Paulus Aibara Sandayu • Paulus Tomachi • Romanus Aibara • Thomas of Saint Hyacinth • Thomas Tomachi Died on 8 September 1628 in Nagasaki, Japan Beatified on 7 May 1867 by Pope Pius XI
Martyred in England: Bl John Norton Bl Thomas Palaser
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War: • Blessed Adrián Saiz y Saiz • Blessed Apolonia Lizárraga Ochoa de Zabalegui • Blessed Bonifacio Rodríguez González • Blessed Dolores Puig Bonany • Blessed Eusebio Alonso Uyarra • Blessed Ismael Escrihuela Esteve • Blessed Josefa Ruano García • Blessed Josep Padrell Navarro • Blessed Mamerto Carchano y Carchano • Blessed Marino Blanes Giner • Blessed Miguel Beato Sánchez • Blessed Pascual Fortuño Almela • Blessed Segimon Sagalés Vilá • Blessed Tomàs Capdevila Miquel