Thought for the Day – 24 September – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Sacrifices of Life
“When we say that we must be prepared to make any sacrifice, even to die, rather than offend God and risk eternal damnation, we mean exactly what we say. “If thy right eye is an occasion of sin to thee,” Jesus says in the Gospel, “pluck it out and cast it from thee; for it is better for thee that one of thy members should perish than that thy whole body should be thrown into hell. And if thy right hand is an occasion of sin to thee, cut it off and cast it from thee; for it is better for thee that one of thy members should be lost, than thy whole body shuld go into hell” (Mt 5:29-30).
We are prepared to do all this when there is a question of preserving mortal life; we are prepared to undergo an amputation in order to avoid death. Are we prepared to do as much for eternal salvation?
Sometimes, when we wish to set ourselves free from the danger of sin, we must deprive ourselves of things that are dear to us; we must suppress our natural instincts and affections and we must impose on ourselves severe penances and bodily mortifications. All this is demanded from us by Jesus in these words which seem hard and almost cruel but are none other than a just and necessary commandment. In certain grave cases, heroism is necessary for all – now is the time of heroes! Are we courageous for Christ and for eternal life with Him?”
Quote/s of the Day – 28 September – “Month of the Seven Sorrows of Mary” – Readings: Haggai 2: 1-9; Psalm 43: 1-4; Luke 9: 18-22
“But whom do you say that I am?”
“If I only touch his garment, I will be made well.” Jesus turned and seeing her he said, “Take heart, daughter, your faith has made you well.” And instantly the woman was made well.”
“What determines that the gifts of God dwells in us, is the measure of each one’s faith. Because it is to the extent that we believe, that the enthusiasm to act is given us. And so those who act, reveal the measure of their faith proportionate to their action, they receive their measure of grace according to what they have believed. …”
St Maximus the Confessor (c 580-662) Monk and Theologian
“Believing is an act of the intellect assenting to the divine truth, by command of the will, moved by God through grace.”
St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) Doctor Angelicus Doctor Comm
One Minute Reflection – 28 September – –“Month of the Seven Sorrows of Mary” – Readings: Haggai 2: 1-9; Psalm 43: 1-4; Luke 9: 18-22
“But whom do you say that I am? Simon Peter answering, said: The Christ of God. … He commanded they should tell this to no man …” – Luke 9:20-21
REFLECTION – “Then he strictly ordered his disciples to tell no-one that he was the Messiah.” Why this order? So that, once all cause of scandal had been set aside, His Cross and Passion accomplished, every obstacle capable of preventing the crowd from believing in Him removed, an exact knowledge of Who He is, might be deeply and permanently engraved in their hearts. His power had not yet shone out in splendour. Before the Apostles were to preach it, He waited until the evidence of the truth and authority of the facts, could confirm their testimony.
Because, it was one thing to be seeing Him now, multiplying miracles in Palestine and then, as the butt of persecution and torture – and the Cross was going to follow these miracles. It was another thing to see Him worshiped, believed in by all the world, saved from the ill-treatment He had undergone before. That is why He suggests they say nothing to anyone… If the Apostles, who had been witnesses of His miracles and had taken part in so many inexpressible Mysteries, had difficulty in accepting a single word about the Passion and Peter himself, amongst them, the head of them all (Mt 16,22), what would the ordinary run of mortals think? After hearing that Jesus was the Son of God, what would they have thought to see Him dirtied by spitting and nailed to the Cross? And this, too, before the coming of the Holy Spirit, when the reason for these Mysteries was not yet known?” – St John Chrysostom (345-407) Bishop of Constantinople, Father & Doctor of the Church (Homilies on Saint Matthew’s Gospel, no.54, 1-3)
PRAYER – Lord God, You hold out the Light of Your Word to those who do not know You. Strengthen in our hearts, the faith You have given us and the Credo we profess, so that no trials may quench the fire Your Spirit has kindled in us. May the intercession of all the Apostles, grant us the grace of following the way of the Cross, to stand beneath it with our afflicted Mother, the Mother of God, Ave Maria! We make our prayer through Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 24 September – “Month of the Seven Sorrows of Mary”
Eternal God, our Refuge By St Boniface (672-754)
Eternal God, the Refuge and Help of all Your children, we praise You for all You have given us, for all You have done for us, for all that You are to us. In our weakness, You are Strength, in our darkness, You are Light, in our sorrow, You are Comfort and Peace. We cannot number Your Blessings, we cannot declare Your Love For all Your Blessings, we bless You. May we live, as in Your presence, and love the things, that You love and serve You in our daily lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Saint of the Day – 24 September – Saint Terence of Persaro (c 210-c 247) Martyr, layman, soldier. Born in c 210 in Pannonia (modern Hungary) and died on 24 September c 247 at Pesaro, Italy. Also known as Terenzio, Terentius . Patronage – Pesaro, Italy.
St Terence was a native of Pannonia (now Hungary), already conquered by the Romans since the 7th year of Christ. To escape the persecution commanded by the Emperors against the followers of the Nazarene, he left his homeland and landed on the shores of the Adriatic Sea. After several events, he set out to go to Rome and was killed for the Christian faith in a place called Acqua Mala, near Pesaro.
Regarding the place of his Martyrdom, while some believe that it took place not very far from the City, the tradition which speaks of borders, gives value to a tradition, according to which, Terence suffered Martyrdom near our Abbey of St Tomaso in Foglia, located precisely on the territorial border between Pesaro and Urbino. This tradition is corroborated by the existence in those places, of a perennial pool of sulphurous water, which not only gushes, even in the greatest droughts but, which although repeatedly diverted or destroyed, has always returned to rise again.
It is called “the Water of St Terence,” considering that the Patron Saint was Martyred there and his body was then thrown into the nearby whirlpool of the water – mala; which now no longer exists because the valley was filled in, in subsequent agricultural works.
His body may have been buried by Bishop Florentius of Pesaro outside the City, close to Caprile, which ancient documents call the Valle di St Terenzio. Another tradition states that his body was buried by a local woman named Theodosia. His relics were then translated to the basilica of San Decenzio (now the Chiesa del Cimitero centrale) before being translated, in the sixth century, to the new Cathedral at Pesaro by Bishop Felix of Pesaro.
The relics, placed initially in a crypt, were transferred by Giovanni Benedetti in 1447 to a large Altar in which the relics were placed in a wooden urn, on which the aforementioned painter Bellinzoni depicted Terence. The urn is now found at the Museo Civico, in Palazzo Toschi-Mosca, and the relics themselves were translated to a new urn in a new Cathedral Chapel inaugurated in 1909
As a soldier Saint, Terence is considered to have appeared twice in times of crisis, the second vision occurring on 9 June 1793, in the times of the Cisalpine Republic, when Pesaro was besieged by French troops: a horseman appeared on the walls of the City, accompanied by a woman (Our Lady) dispensing munitions. The vision terrified the French so much, that they abandoned their siege. In gratitude, Terence was officially proclaimed Patron of the City on 20 March 1802.
Terence’s most famous figuration in art is his minor appearance—as a young soldier Saint—in a predella panel of Giovanni Bellini’s “Pesaro Altarpiece, The Coronation of the Virgin” (ca. 1475–80). In it, Terence, as the City’s Patron, holds a model representing the Nuova Rocca, or Fortezza Costanzo, the Citadel of Pesaro newly rebuilt by Costanzo Sforza. The Altarpiece is below – St Terence is bottom right of the bottom panel – see amplified image above.
Our Lady of Walsingham / Virgin of the Sea (1061) – 24 September:
The story of the Walsingham Shrine begins in Saxon times. In 1061, the Lady of the Manor, Richeldis de Faverches, was taken in spirit to Nazareth, shown the House where the Annunciation took place and asked by Our Lady, to build a replica in Norfolk. She was promised that ‘Whoever seeks my help there will not go away empty-handed.‘ The simple wooden house that she built soon became the focus of special devotion to Our Lady. The ‘Holy House’ was later encased in stone to protect it from the elements. In 1153, the Augustinian Canons founded a Priory to care for the spiritual needs of the pilgrims. Their magnificent Priory Church was added in the fifteenth century. Only the ruin of the Priory Arch remains and archaeology has placed the site of the ‘Holy House’ in its shadow.
Walsingham became one of the foremost Shrines of medieval Christendom. Among the pilgrims to the ‘Holy House’ were many royal visitors. Henry III in 1226, Edward I (eleven times), Edward II in 1315, Edward III in 1361, Richard II in 1383, Edward IV in 1469, Henry VI in 1487 (and many other times) and Henry VIII in 1511, in thanksgiving for the birth of his son, Prince Henry. In 1340, the Slipper Chapel was built at Houghton St Giles, a mile outside Walsingham. This was the final ‘Station’ Chapel on the way to Walsingham. It was here, that pilgrims would remove their shoes to walk the final ‘Holy Mile’ to the Shrine barefoot.
Erasmus, the Dutch scholar, visited Walsingham in 1513 and was impressed by the splendour of the Shrine. He wrote:
‘When you look inside, you would say, it is the abode of saints, so brilliantly does it shine with gems, gold and silver … Our Lady stands in the dark at the right side of the Altar … a little image, remarkable neither for its size, material or workmanship.’
This was soon to come to an end. Henry VIII ordered the dissolution of the monasteries and in 1538 the Priory was closed, the ‘Holy House’ burned to the ground and the Statue of Our Lady taken to London to be destroyed. In 1896 Miss Charlotte Boyd bought the Slipper Chapel, which had seen centuries of secular use. She devoted herself to its restoration. The Statue of the Mother and Child was carved at Oberammergau and based on the design of the original statue – a design found on the medieval seal of Walsingham Priory, an imprint of which is in the British Museum.
The first Mass since the Reformation was offered in the Slipper Chapel on 15 August 1934 and a few days later Cardinal Francis Bourne led a pilgrimage of 10,000 people to the Chapel and declared it to be the Catholic National Shrine of Our Lady.
Madonna de Val Camonica, Berzo Inferiore (BS), Italy (1616) – 24 September:
St Anathalon of Milan St Andochius of Autun St Anthony Gonzalez
St Paphnutius of Egypt Bl Robert Hardesty St Rusticus of Clermont St. Rupert of Salzburg St Terence of Persaro (c 210-c 247) Martyr Layman St Thyrsus of Autun St Ysarn of Saint Victor Bl William Spenser — Martyrs of Chalcedon – (49 saints): Forty-nine Christian choir singers of the church in Chalcedon in Asia Minor who were martyred together in their persecutions of Diocletian in 304.
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War: • Blessed Antonio Pancorbo López • Blessed Esteban García y García • Blessed José María Ferrándiz Hernández • Blessed Juan Francisco Joya Corralero • Blessed Luis de Erdoiza Zamalloa • Blessed Manuel Gómez Contioso • Blessed Melchor Rodríguez Villastrigo • Blessed Pascual Ferrer Botella • Blessed Rafael Rodríguez Mesa • Blessed Santiago Arriaga Arrien