Thought for the Day – 21 September – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Following Jesus, the Divine Model
“Jesus is the Divine Model, Whom we ought to follow and imitate. In Him, the virtues possess both the infinite splendour of the Divinity and the gentle appeal of glorified Humanity. Jesus does not dazzle us with His brightness but kindly invites us to love and follow Him. “Learn from me” He says, “for I am meek and humble of heart and you will find rest for your souls” (Mt 11:29). After He has indicated humility, meekness and interior peace, as the foundations of the spiritual life, He invites us to take up the yoke of His law and assures us, that we shall find it light (Mt 11).
If we follow Jesus, even though we are bowed with Him, beneath the weight of the Cross, we shall experience, even in this life, a reflection of the peace and joy which will be our reward in Heaven.”
Quote/s of the Day – 21 September – The Feast of St Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist – Readings: Ephesians 4: 1-7, 11-13; Psalm 19: 2-5; Matthew 9: 9-13
“He said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him.”
“Our Lord chose Matthew, the tax collector, to encourage his fellows to join him. He looked on sinners, called them and brought them to sit beside Him. What a wonderful sight! Angels stand trembling, while publicans, seated, rejoice!”
St Ephrem (306-373) Father & Doctor of the Church
“Why did Jesus not call Matthew at the same time as He called Peter and John and the rest? He came to each one at a particular time when He knew that they would respond to Him. He came at a different time to call Matthew when He was assured that Matthew would surrender to His call. For He Who is acquainted with our inmost hearts and knows the secrets of our minds, knows when each one of us is ready to respond fully.”
St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father & Doctor of the Church
One Minute Reflection – 21 September – The Feast of St Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist- Readings: Ephesians 4: 1-7, 11-13; Psalm 19: 2-5; Matthew 9: 9-13
“As Jesus passed by, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post. He said to him, “Follow me.”And he got up and followed him.” – Matthew 9:9
REFLECTION – “It is not possible that the Gospels can be either more or fewer in number than they are. There are four zones of the world in which we live and four principal winds and the Church is scattered throughout all the world and her “pillar and ground” (1 Tm 3:15) is the Gospel and the Spirit of life; therefore, it is fitting that she should have four pillars, breathing out immortality on every side and vivifying us afresh. The Word, the Shaper of all things, Who sits upon the cherubim and upholds all things (Ps 79:2; Heb 1:3), Who was manifested to men, has given us the Gospel under four aspects but bound together by One Spirit. David says, when entreating this manifestation, “You that sit between the cherubim, shine forth.”(Ps 79:2) For the cherubim, too, were four-faced (Ez 1:6) and their faces were images of the dispensation of the Son of God.
For, as Scripture says, “The first living creature was like a lion,” (Rev 4:7) symbolising His effectual working, His leadership and royal power; “the second was like a calf,” signifying His sacrificial and priestly order but, “the third had, as it were, the face as of a man,” – an evident description of His coming as a human being; “the fourth was like a flying eagle,” pointing out the gift of the Spirit hovering with its wings over the Church. And, therefore, the Gospels of John, Luke, Matthew and Mark are in accord with these living things, among which Christ Jesus is seated. …
Such was the form of the living creatures, so was also the character of the Word of God Himself – the Word of God Himself conversed with the patriarchs before Moses, in accordance with His divinity and glory but, for those under the law, He instituted a priestly and liturgical service. Afterwards, being made Man for us, He sent the gift of the Spirit over all the earth, protecting us with His Wings (Ps 16:8). … These things being so, all who reject the form the Gospel has taken – that is, those who say the Gospels should be more or fewer in number – are futile, ignorant, and presumptuous.” – St Irenaeus of Lyons (c 130-c 202) Bishop, Theologian and Martyr – (Against Heresies c. Book III, 11, 8-9).
PRAYER – We thank You, heavenly Father, for the witness of Your Apostle and Evangelist, Matthew, to the Gospel of Your Son, our Saviour and we pray that, after his example, we may with ready wills and hearts, obey the calling of our Lord, to follow Him; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Saint of the Day – 21 September – Blessed Mark Scalabrini of Modena OP (c 1420-1498) Priest and Friar of the Order of Preachers, Prior, miracle-worker. Born in c 1420 in Mocogna, Modena, Emilia-Romagna, Italy and died on 21 September 1498 in Pesaro, Italy of natural causes.
Mark was born in Modena and entered the Convent of the Dominican Order there in young manhood. He observed the Rules with great fidelity and became noted, both for his learning and his holiness. However, when we recall the times in which he lived , it becomes clearer to us that anyone who kept the Dominican Rule in its entirety, is truly deserving of our notice . The abuses which stirred Savonarola to thundering speech in the pulpits of Ferrara and Florence could not have been absent from all of Italy. It took solid virtue to hold out against the opulent worldliness of the times and Mark of Modena apparently did a thorough job of it, since he has been Beatified.
Mark was made Prior of the Convent of Pesaro and the only miracle we have on record (he is believed to have performed many) took place at his convent. A little boy had died and the mother pleaded with Mark to restore the child’s life. After praying for awhile, Mark turned to her and said, “Madam, your young boy is in paradise. Do not try to get him back again, for his second loss will be worse than this one.” However, she insisted on his working the miracle and he did so. The child returned to life and, ten years later, covered with disgrace and public censure arising from shameful conduct, died a second time, leaving his mother in more sorrowful grief than ever.
Mark of Modena died in 1498, the year that the City of Florence burned Savonarola at the stake. It was a time of terrible happenings in Italy and all Europe. The people of Modena mourned the death of Mark and went to pray at his tomb. Many of their needs were answered there and a number of miracles were reported and again when his relics were translated to the Rosary Chapel of the Church. His relics were again transferred in 1949, to the Dominican Church in Modena. The bells were said to have rung by themselves and sweet perfume filled the air. His relics are still exposed annually for veneration during the week of Pentecost. Blessed Mark was Beatified on 10 September 1857 by Pope Blessed Pius IX.
Beata Vergine del Tresto / The Blessed Virgin of Tresto, Ospedaletto Euganeo, Italy (1468) – 21September:
The complex of the Sanctuary of Tresto was built in the place of the miraculous Marian apparition to the boatman Giovanni di Bartolomeo Zielo da Ponso on the night of 21 September 1468, in the locality of Tresto, current fraction of the Municipality of Ospedaletto Euganeo near Padua, from where he was returning. Reaching Este in the evening, the man had stopped to sleep in the boat under the Borini bridge. Around midnight he was awakened by a female voice who called him three times. The man saw two beautiful ladies who enjoined him to follow them. Strangely finding the drawbridge of the City lowered, they walked towards the countryside where, in the locality of Tresto, one of the two ladies sat on the bank of a ditch and told the other to fetch her a bunch of grapes. Then she asked Giovanni if he knew her. To his negative answer she said that she was Mary, the Mother of God. She then enjoined him not to amend his life and to do his best to have a Church built on that place according to the plan and the measures she illustrated to him. But Giovanni objected saying that because of his poverty and ignorance, he would not be believed. Then Mary gave him a knife, instructing him to stick it into the ground and then to remove it. Giovanni obeyed and when he removed the blade from the ground, blood gushed. After having blessed him, the Madonna disappeared with her companion. T he next day Giovanni, afraid of not being believed, did not carry out the commands he had received but only confided in three friends. Losing his peace of mind, he eventually went with some people to the site of the apparition, where he tried to stick the knife into the ground, pulling it back wet with blood. Others wanted to try: the incredulous could not move the blade from the ground, while the others withdrew it bloody.
The miraculous event, renewed several times, convinced everyone to work together to erect the required Church. At the halfway point, due to the exceptional drought that had hit the area, there was no water. Everyone then invoked the help of Mary, who caused a spring appear next to the construction site. This spring since then, over the centuries, has been a source of miraculous cures just like the one at Lourdes. The custody of the Church, built in 9 months, was entrusted by the Paduan clergy to a Congregation of Mendicants of whom Giovanni wore the habit in a lay state.
The Sanctuary of Tresto became and remains a site of devotion and pilgrimage with the powerful and healing waters of the miraculous Spring, bringing many sick seeking cures. The Sanctuary preserves several works of art among which the painting on wood depicting the Virgin and Child shown above, stands out, a masterpiece attributed to Jacopo da Montagnana who created it between 1475 and 1480.
St Alexander of the Via Claudia Bl Diego Hompanera París St Eusebius of Phoenicia St Francisco Pastor Garrido St François Jaccard St Gerulph St Herminio García Pampliega St Iphigenia St Isaac of Cyprus Bl Jacinto Martínez Ayuela St Jacques Honoré Chastán St Johannes Ri St Jonah the Prophet Bl José María Azurmendi Mugarza Bl Josep Vila Barri St Landelino of Ettenheim Bl Manuel Torró García Blessed Mark Scalabrini of Modena OP (c 1420-1498) St Maura of Troyes St Meletius of Cyprus Bl Nicolás de Mier Francisco St Pamphilus of Rome St Pierre Philibert Maubant St Tôma Tran Van Thien Bl Vicente Galbis Gironés Bl Vicente Pelufo Orts — Martyrs of Gaza – 3 saints: Three brothers, Eusebius, Nestulus and Zeno, who were seized, dragged through the street, beaten and murdered by a pagan mob celebrating the renunciation of Christianity by Julian the Apostate. They were burned to death in 362 on a village garbage heap in Gaza, Palestine.
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War: • Blessed Diego Hompanera París • Blessed Jacinto Martínez Ayuela • Blessed José María Azurmendi Mugarza • Blessed Josep Vila Barri • Blessed Manuel Torró García • Blessed Nicolás de Mier Francisco • Blessed Vicente Galbis Gironés • Blessed Vicente Pelufo Orts