Thought for the Day – 22 September – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Word and Example
“We should give good example everywhere and in every way, at home and in the Church, in the company of those who are subordinate to us and of those who have authority over us, in speech and in dress, by moderation in our eating habits and in the furnishings of our house, by the pictures which we hang in our rooms and by the books and magazines which we read. We should be particularly careful to keep, in safe custody, those books and journals which are necessary to us for purposes of study but could be an occasion of sin for others.
Our whole demeanour should radiate goodness. Let us remember the words of St James: “He who causes a sinner to be brought back from his misguided way, will save his soul from death and, will cover a multitude of sins” (Is 5:20). By saving the souls of others, we save our own!”
Quote/s of the Day – 22 September – Readings: Ezra 9: 5-9; Tobit 13: 2-4, 7-8; Luke 9: 1-6
“He sent them out …”
“Let your light shine before men.”
“Preach the gospel to every creature”
“Zeal for your house will consume me.”
“A servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.”
“My children, eternal life is being offered to us, the kingdom of heaven is made ready and Christ’s inheritance awaits us … So let us run from now on with increased energy and above all you, lazy, recalcitrant, dull of heart, friends of murmuring who, unless you improve, are like the cursed fig tree. … Let us seek out the fight, bravely pour with our sweat, adorn ourselves with crowns, gain praises and gather up, like a treasure, “what eye has not seen and ear has not heard and what has not entered the human heart” (1 Cor 2:9).
St Theodore the Studite (759-826)
Our life is: “To breathe God in and out. To find God in everything. To reveal God to all. To radiate the presence of God.”
One Minute Reflection – 22 September – “Month of the Seven Sorrows of Mary”- Readings: Ezra 9: 5-9; Tobit 13: 2-4, 7-8; Luke 9: 1-6
And he called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal. … Luke 9:1-2
REFLECTION – “The foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength” (1 Cor 1:25). Yes, the Cross is a foolishness and weakness in appearance only … It was through unlearned men that the Cross brought conviction and drew the world to itself. It spoke to men, not of chance things but of God and of piety in the truth, of the Gospel polity, of future judgement and it made uncouth and illiterate men, philosophers. This is how “the foolishness of God is wiser than man and His weakness stronger,” (1 Cor. 1:25).
How is it stronger? It is stronger in that it spread over the whole earth and seized all men by force and, whereas, thousands and thousands did their utmost, to stamp out the Name of the Crucified One, just the contrary came to pass. For this Name took root and was propagated all the more, whereas its enemies, were destroyed and consumed and, living men fighting a dead One, gained not a stroke. … For publicans and fishermen set up those very things, by the goodness of God, which philosophers and orators and despots and the whole world, vainly striving with all its might, could not even devise.… This was in Paul’s mind when he said: “the weakness of God is stronger than all men put together.” How, otherwise, was it, that twelve unlettered men attempted things of this importance?! – St John Chrysostom 345-407) Bishop of Constantinople, Father & Doctor of the Church (4th Homily on 1 Corinthians)
PRAYER – O God of love, You sent Your beloved Son to the world to proclaim the Good News of Salvation, to heal every illness and to cure all infirmity of body and soul. Help us to continue the mission of the merciful Christ in the service towards our neighbour, preaching the Gospel and offering our help in whatever way we can. May the example of suffering of our Blessed Mother Mary, teach us how to love and serve You. Through her intercession, grant us the grace to go forth in love. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 22 September – “Month of the Seven Sorrows of Mary”
Lord, May Your Kingdom Come into My Heart By Father Jean-Pierre de Caussade (1675-1751)
Lord, may Your Kingdom come into my heart to sanctify me, nourish me and purify me. How insignificant is the passing moment, to the eye without faith! But how important each moment is, to the eye enlightened by faith! How can we deem insignificant anything, which has been caused by You? Every moment and every event is guided by You and so, contains Your infinite greatness. So, Lord, I glorify You in everything that happens to me. In whatever manner You make me live and die, I am content. Events please me for their own sake, regardless of their consequences, because Your action lies behind them. Everything is heaven to me because, all my moments, manifest Your love. Amen
Saint of the Day – 22 September – Saint Gunthildis of Suffersheim (Died c 1057) Laywoman, apostle of the poor. Patronages – cattle, lepers, servants. Also known as Gunthild.
Historical certainty of her life has not been passed down. The name comes from Old High German and means “the combative fighter.” She is said to have been a pious maid who was distinguished by special charity. She died around 1057 in Suffersheim in Bavaria. According to another tradition, Gunthildis is said to have been a disciple of St Willibald who came to Germany from southern England in the 8th century.
Gunthildis from Suffersheim served as a cattle maid and led a very pious and devout life in the midst of her rural work. She remains a constant model for all the maidservants in the country. Devoted to all virtues, she was especially distinguished by compassion and merciful love. Her greatest joy was giving alms to the poor. Through her prayer God caused two crystal-clear springs to appear, one from a rock. Through the latter, a leper obtained perfect healing. Gunthildis drove the cattle to these sources of clear and refreshing water. After drinking from these springs, the cows gave an extraordinary amount of milk. Gunthildis shared this abundant blessing with the poor of the neighbourhood.
When she once wanted to carry the milk she had saved from her own mouth to poor people, she met her employer. Very angry, he asked her what she was carrying. She replied that it was only lye. And the employer only saw lye when he opened the vessel. In this service, the pious maid endured until the end of her life. She died a blessed death, rich in graces and virtues.
The body of the maid, generally venerated as a Saint, was loaded onto a cart and two untamed oxen hitched to it. They calmly carried her body to Suffersheim. Here they stopped. Thus it was understood that Gunthildis should be buried there. Soon afterwards, many miracles occurred at her grave. As a result, a Chapel was built over this grave, although it no longer exists. Today, next to the foundations of this Chapel uncovered in 1957, there is a new Gunthildis Chapel built from 1993 to 1995.
Madonna di Porto Salvo / Our Lady of Porto Salvo, Lampedusa, Agrigento, Sicily, Italy (1843) – 22 September:
The island of Lampedusa lies far south of Sicily, closer to Tunisia than to Italy. Since the time of the Crusades, it has been home to a rural Shrine frequented by mariners both Christian and Muslim in the 1500s and 1600s, who kept an oil lamp burning constantly before the crude stone Statue of the Madonna and Child.
But the island was not inhabited until 22 September 1843, when two steamships of Italian colonists arrived under Governor Bernardo Maria Sanvisente. In Madonna Valley, they found the Chapel dilapidated and the mutilated Statue of the Virgin on the ground. Sanvisente ordered the Chapel and Statue to be restored and a Mass sung every year on 22 September in honour of the Madonna of Porto Salvo and the settlement of the island. During World War II, bombs destroyed the Church, but the Madonna was unhurt and no-one killed.
In 1967, the Virgin and Child were crowned but in 1979 the precious crowns were stolen. The faithful soon raised money for new ones and the Madonna of Porto Salvo was recrowned on 21 September 1980.
She is the Patron of fishermen and her celebration now lasts two weeks. On the first Sunday of September, the Statue processes from its Shrine to the main Church in town, where it is honoured with special services until the big day of the 22nd, when it processes solemnly through the City streets. Of course, the festa is the occasion for general entertainment, games and food as well. On the 23rd, a final procession returns the Madonna to the Sanctuary outside town.
Whilst exploring the story of this veneration of Our Lady, I discovered that on 22 September 2020 the “Key to the Island” was stolen. Below is the report in the local newspaper. Don Carmelo La Magra reassured all the islanders: “Whoever took it, repented, gave it back to me.” Great symbolic value – it is the key to the island in the hands of the Blessed Virgin:
“The key of Our Lady has been returned. Whoever took it, repented, gave it back to me anonymously. We thank the Virgin Mary because this story ended well and we pray for each other.” It is with this message that Fr Carmelo La Magra, Priest of Lampedusa, reassured all the islanders last night.
For hours, the alarm had been circulating on social media: “The golden key of the Madonna of Porto Salvo has been stolen“. A key that has a single, important meaning – the key of Lampedusa in the hands of the Blessed Virgin. A theft carried out, according to what was reported yesterday, on her feast day, 22 September. A party that, however, this year, due to the Coronavirus emergency, did not take place. The carabinieri, last night, did not find anything. Neither to those of the company command of Agrigento, nor to those of the Lampedusa station. No complaint had been formalised, nor had there been any interventions in this regard. But the military, having received informal news, immediately took an interest in the “case.”
A case that was resolved, fortunately, quickly and spontaneously. Because that key (which, according to what transpires, is not gold at all) was returned, as guaranteed by the Parish Priest of Lampedusa.
St Augustinus Yu Chin-Kil St Basilia St Digna of Rome St Emerita of Rome St Emmeramus St Florentius the Venerable St Gunthildis of Suffersheim (Died c 1057) Laywoman
Martyrs of the Theban Legion: Martyrs (c 287) A Roman imperial legion of 6,600 soldiers, all of whom were Christians; they had been recruited from the area around Thebes in Upper Egypt, were led by Saint Maurice and served under Emperor Maximian Herculeus. Around the year 287, Maximian led the army across the Alps to Agaunum, an area in modern Switzerland, in order to suppress a revolt by the Bagandre in Gaul. In connection with battle, the army offered public sacrifices to the Roman gods; the Theban Legion refused to participate. For refusing orders, the Legion was decimated – one tenth of them were executed. When the remainder refused to sacrifice to the gods, they were decimated again. When the survivors still refused to sacrifice, Maximinian ordered them all killed. Martyrs. Known members of the Legion include: • Alexander of Bergamo • Candidus the Theban • Chiaffredo of Saluzzo • Exuperius • Fortunato • Innocent of Agaunum • Maurice • Secundus the Theban • Ursus the Theban • Victor of Agaunum • Victor of Xanten • Victor the Theban • Vitalis of Agaunum Other profiled saints associated with the Legion include: • Antoninus of Piacenza (martyred soldier; associated by later story tellers) • Adventor of Turin (not a member; associated by later story tellers) • Cassius (may have been a member) • Florentius the Martyr (may have been a member) • George of San Giorio (not a member; associated by later story tellers) • Gereon (not a member, but another soldier who was martyred for refusing to make a sacrifice to Roman gods) • Octavius of Turin (not a member; associated by later story tellers) • Pons of Pradleves (escaped the massacre to become an evangelists in northern Italy) • Secundus of Asti (not a member but linked due to art work) • Solutor of Turin (not a member; associated by later story tellers) • Tiberio of Pinerolo (may have been a member) • Verena (wife of a member of the Legion) They were martyred c 287 in Agaunum (modern Saint-Maurice-en-Valais, Switzerland. A basilica was built in Agaunum to enshrine the relics of the Legion. The full story: https://anastpaul.com/2018/09/22/saints-of-the-day-22-september-st-maurice-and-the-martyrs-of-the-theban-legion-martyrs-c-287/
Martyrs of Valencia, Spain – Martyred in the Spanish Civil War: • Blessed Alfonso Lopez • Blessed Antonio Gil-Monforte • Blessed Antonio Sáez de Ibarra López • Blessed Carlos Navarro Miquel • Blessed Esteban Cobo-Sanz • Blessed Federico Cobo-Sanz • Blessed Félix Echevarría Gorostiaga • Blessed Francisco Carlés González • Blessed Francisco Vicente Edo • Blessed Germán Gozalvo Andreu • Blessed Josefina Moscardó Montalvá • Blessed Luis Echevarría Gorostiaga • Blessed María Purificación Vidal Pastor • Blessed Miguel Zarragua Iturrízaga • Blessed Simón Miguel Rodríguez • Blessed Vicente Sicluna Hernández