Thought for the Day – 31 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Month of the Holy Rosary” “Pray for Us … at the Hour of Our Death”
“Our divine Redeemer, although He was God and did not except Himself from the law of death. It was appropriate, therefore, that His divine Mother should have been no exception either. But Mary had shared in the torments of her Son’s death upon Calvary and so obtained from Him, the privilege of a death so sweet and gentle, as hardly to justify the name at all. Her soul was separated from her body as if in an ecstasy of love and was united even more indissolubly with God. She did not die of a natural disease but, out of love for God. She had always loved God with all the ardour of the noblest of creatures and her life ended in a final outpouring of love. It was the climax of a continuous ascent towards God.
Death should be like this for us too. It can be like this if we follow her example, especially in the boundlessness of her love for God.
O Mary, my tender Mother, be at my side throughout my life but especially at the hour of death. Shelter me beneath your maternal mantle and never let me be far apart from you. Grant that I may have a calm and peaceful death like yours, a death made easy by a great love for Jesus and for you, as well as by the reception of the Holy Sacraments and by your special blessing, amen.”
Quote/s of the Day– 31 October – The last day of the “Month of the Holy Rosary”
THE SEVEN BLESSINGS OF THE HOLY ROSARY
“The Rosary, recited with meditation on the mysteries, brings about the following marvellous results:
It gradually gives us a perfect knowledge of Jesus Christ;
It purifies our souls, washing away sin;
It gives us victory over all our enemies;
It makes it easy for us to practice virtue;
It sets us on fire with love of Our Blessed Lord;
It enriches us with graces and merits;
It supplies us with what is needed to pay, all our debts to God and to our fellow men and finally, it obtains all kinds of graces for us from Almighty God.”
St Louis Marie Grignion De Montfort (1673-1716)
“The Rosary is the most excellent form of prayer and the most efficacious means of attaining eternal life. It is the remedy for all our evils, the root of all our blessings. There is no more excellent way of praying.”
Pope Leo XIII (1810-1903)
“If there were one million families praying the Rosary everyday, the entire world would be saved.”
St Pope Pius X (1835-1914)
“We put great confidence in the Holy Rosary, for the healing of evils which afflict our times.”
One Minute Reflection – 31 October – The last day of the “Month of the Holy Rosary” – Readings: Deuteronomy 6: 2-6; Psalm 18: 2-4, 47, 51; Hebrews 7: 23-28; Mark 12: 28b-34
“Therefore, he is always able to save those who approach God through him, since he lives forever to make intercession for them…” – Hebrews 7:25
REFLECTION – “Petition does not imply here, as it does in popular parlance, a desire for legal satisfaction; there is something humiliating in the idea. No, it means interceding for us in His role of mediator, in the way that the Spirit too is spoken of, as “making petition” on our behalf. “For there is one God and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” Even at this moment, He is, as human, interceding for my salvation, until He makes me divine by the power of His incarnate Humanity. “As human,” I say, because He still has with Him the Body He assumed, though He is no longer “regarded as human,” meaning, the bodily experiences, which, sin aside, are ours and His. This is the “Advocate” we have in Jesus — not a slave who falls prostrate before the Father on our behalf. Get rid of what is really a slavish suspicion, unworthy of the Spirit. It is not in God to make the demand, nor in the Son to submit to it; the thought is unjust to God. No, it is by what He suffered as Man, that He persuades us, as Word and Encourager, to endure. That, for me, is the meaning of His “Advocacy.” – St Gregory Nazianzen (330-390) Archbishop of Constantinople, Father & Doctor of the Chuirch (Theological Oration 4 (On the Son), 30)
PRAYER – Lord God, You gave the peoples of the world as the inheritance of Your only Son; You crowned Him as King of Zion, Your holy city and gave Him Your Church to be His Bride. As He proclaims the law of Your eternal kingdom, may we serve Him faithfully and so share His royal power forever. We make our prayer, through Him and with Him and in Him, our King and our Redeemer, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 31 October – Christ the King
I am Thine and born for Thee, What wilt Thou do with me? By St Teresa of Avila (1515-1582) Doctor of Prayer of the Church
Sovereign Lord, upon Thy Throne, Endless Wisdom, One and Whole, Goodness that dost feed my soul, Good and great, One God alone, As I sing my love for Thee. What wilt Thou do with me?
Thine I am, for Thou didst make me; Thine, for Thou alone didst save me; Thine – Thou couldst endure to have me; For Thine own, didst deign to take me. Never once, didst Thou forsake me. Ruined were I, if not for Thee: What wilt Thou do with me?
What, O good and loving Lord, What wilt Thou have this creature do? This Thy slave, a sinner too, Waiting till she hears Thy word? With Thy will in close accord, Sweetest Love, I come to Thee: What wilt Thou do with me?
Take, O Lord, my loving heart: See, I yield it to Thee whole, With my body, life and soul And my nature’s every part. Sweetest Spouse, my life Thou art; I have given myself to Thee: What wilt Thou do with me?
Let me live or let me die; Give me sickness, give me health; Give me poverty or wealth; Let me strive or peaceful lie. Weakness give or strength supply – I accept it all of Thee: What wilt Thou do with me?…
I am Thine and born for Thee, What wilt Thou do with me?
Poem – I am Yours, for You I was born – “Vuestra Soy, para Vos nací ” (trans. E Allison Peers)
Saint of the Day – 31 October – St Foillan of Fosses (Died 655) Bishop, Martyr, Missionary, Abbot. Born in the 7th Century in Ireland and died by murder on 31 October 655 in the forest near Nivelles, Belgium, Patronages – children’s nurses, dentists, Fosses, Belgium, surgeons, truss makers, Diocese of Mechelen and Tournai., Belgium. Also known as – Faelan, Faillan, Faolan, Feuillien, Foalan, Foelan. Additional Memorial – 5 November in the Diocese of Mechelen and Tournai.
Foillan was one of the numerous Irish missionaries who, in the course of the seventh century, evangelised in Europe, bringing the liturgy and sacred vessels, founding prosperous Monasteries and sharing considerably in the propagation of the Faith in these countries. Foillan played a significant part in Frankish ecclesiastical history, as shown by his share in the direction of Nivelles and by the foundation of the Monastery of Fosses-la-Ville.
Foillan was born in Ireland early in the seventh century and was the brother of Saints Ultan and Fursey, the latter a famous Missionary who preached the Faith to the Irish, the Anglo-Saxons and the Franks. Foillan, probably in company with Ultan, went with his brother Fursey, when the latter, fleeing from his country then devastated by foreign invaders, retired to a lonely islands. Fursey soon went among the Anglo Saxons and built a Monastery at Burgh Castle (Cnoberesburg) in Suffolk, between 634 and 650.
Seized again with the desire for solitude, Fursey left the Monastery in the care of Foillan, who remained at the head of the community and had the happiness of once more seeing his brother Fursey, who, having since gone to the kingdom of the Franks, came to visit him about 650. Soon a disastrous war broke out between Penda, the Mercian Chief and Ana, King of the Eastern Anglo-Saxons. Ana, having been put to flight, the Monastery of Cnoberesburg fell into the hand of the enemies. It was pillaged,and its Abbot, Foillan, barely escaped death. He hastened to ransom the captive Monks, recovered the relics, put the holy books and objects of veneration on board ship and departed for the country of the Franks, where his brother Fursey was buried. He and his companions, were well received at Péronne by Erconwald, Mayor of the Palace. But soon, for some unknown reason, Foillan and his companions left Péronne and went to Nivelles, a Monastery founded by St Ita and St Gertrude, wife and daughter of Duke Pepin I.
Foillan, like so many other Irishmen who went to the Continent in the seventh century, was invested with episcopal dignity, having doubtless been a monastic Bishop at Cnoberesburg. He was, therefore ,of great assistance in the organisation of worship and the holy books and relics, which he brought, were great; treasures for St Ita and St Gertrude. As the Monastery of Nivelles was under Irish discipline, the companions of Foillan were well received and lived, side by side, with the holy women, occupying themselves with the details of worship under the general direction of the Abbess. Through the liberality of Ita, Foillan was enabled to build a Monastery at Fosses, not far from Nivelles, in the Province of Namur.
After the death of Ita in 652, Foillan came one day to Nivelles and sang Mass, on the eve of the feast of St Quentin. The ceremony being finished, he resumed his journey, doubtless undertaken in the interests of his Monastery. In the forest of Senege the Saint and his companions fell into a trap set by bandits who inhabited that solitary place. They were slain, stripped, and their bodies concealed. But they were recovered by St Gertrude and when she had taken some relics of the Saint, his body was borne to the Monastery of Fosses, where it was buried in 655.
It is not surprising, after his death and because of his work in the area, that St Foillan should be honoured and venerated both at Nivelles and Fosses and, to find at Le Roeulx (Belgium) a Monastery bearing his name. As late as the twelfth century the veneration in which he was held, inspired Philippe Le Harvengt, Abbot of Bonne-Espérance, to compose a lengthy biography of the Saint. He is the Patron of Fosses, near Charieroi. In the Diocese of Namur his feast is celebrated on 31 October, in the Dioceses of Mechlin and Tournai on 5 November.
Vigil of All Saints Day or All Hallow’s Eve: Eve of the Feast of All Hallows, that is, All Saints Day. Halloween is a day on which many quaint customs are revived. It is popular in the United States and Scotland and in the US has become the second largest secular holiday of the year.
Nuestra Señora del Rosario de Río Blanco y Paypaya de Jujuy / Our Lady of the Rosary of Rio Blanco (of the White River) and Paypaya, Argentina , 17th Century – 31 October:
In the Province of Jujuy, Our Lady of the Rosary is the main Patron, who was added the title of “Paypaya and White River.” Local tradition tells that the Virgin defended the City from attacks by the Indians. The most beautiful devotion is the procession which takes place on 31 October, the day on which the image is removed from its precious altar next to the nave of the Cathedral of Jujuy and is taken to the Sanctuary of the White River…The people displaying their deep religious faith, expressed in their great devotion to the Virgin “Our Lady of the Rosary of White River and Paypaya,” the history refers to the colonial era of the mid-seventeenth century. Entering through the side entrance of the court, located next to the Cathedral of San Salvador de Jujuy, in the centre of the long nave, is the Chapel of Our Lady of the Rosary of White River and Paypaya, a clothed image 60 cm. height. There is another Statue is in the Chapel of the City of Rio Blanco.
St Ampliatus St Antoninus of Milan St Apelles of Eraclea Sintica St Arnulf of Novalesa St Begu of Hackness Bl Christopher of Romagna Bl Dominic Collins St Epimachus of Melusio St Erth of Cornwall St Foillan of Fosses (Died 655) Bishop Martyr, Missionary, Abbot Bl Irene Stefani St Jesús Miquel Girbau Bl Leon Nowakowski St Lucilla of Rome Bl Maria de Requesens Bl Modesta Moro Briz St Narcissus St Notburga of Cologne St Quentin Bl Pilar Isabel Sánchez Suárez St Stachys of Constantinople
Thought for the Day – 30 October– Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Prayer and Our Lady
“Mary’s was a life of constant prayer. It is a thousand tmes more necessary, that ours, should be the same. We are so weak and so prone to temptation, that we are always in danger of falling into sin. “Without me, you can do nothing,” (Jn 15:5) Jesus tells us. “I am the vine, you are the branches. If anyone does not abide in me, he shall be cast outside as the branch and wither.” (Ibid). “Ask and it shall be given to you; seek and you shall find; knock and it shall be opened to you ” (Mt 7:7). In short, Jesus asks us to pray. He wants us to pray because He wants to give us His graces.
We cannot object that it is impossible for us to pray all the time because we have to work and fulfil other obligations. The work, which has first claim on us, is the service of God, which is prayer. Secondly, we can pray in tbe course of our daily work and of our different occupations, by offering to God, everything which we do. No matter what we are doing, we can raise our minds to God in an act of love and so remain always, close to Him.
It is not our work which prevents us from praying constantly but our attachment to worldly things, our excessive love for ourselves and of other creatures. We must avoid these distractions, if we wish to live like Mary in a continual state of prayer. ”
Quote/s of the Day – 30 October – “Month of the Holy Rosary” and Mary’s Day – Readings: Romans 11: 1-2a, 11-12, 25-29; Psalm 94: 12-15, 17-18; Luke 14: 1, 7-11
“For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled but he who humbles himself will be exalted. ”
“The servant is not greater than his Master”
“How can you become a sharer, in His glory (1 Pt 5:1) if you will not consent, to become a sharer, in His humiliating death?”
St Simeon the New Theologian (949-1022)
“As “pride is the beginning of all sin,” (Eccl. 10:15) so humility is the foundation of all virtue. Learn to be really humble and not, as the hypocrite, humble merely in appearance.”
St Bonaventure OFM (1221-1274) Seraphic Doctor of the Church
“ … If you die with Him, you shall also likewise live with Him. If you are His companion in punishment, so shall you be in glory.”
Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)
“Humility and charity are the two master chords – one, the lowest; the other, the highest; all the others are dependent on them. Therefore, it is necessary, above all. to maintain ourselves in these two virtues, for observe well, that the preservation of the whole edifice depends on the foundation and the roof!”
“If humble souls are contradicted, they remain calm; if they are calumniated, they suffer with patience; if they are little esteemed, neglected, or forgotten, they consider this their due; if they are weighed down with occupations, they perform them cheerfully. ”
St Vincent de Paul (1581-1660)
“St Ambrose describes virtue, as a slow martyrdom. In this sense, we must all be martyrs. … Our martyrdom, … will be prolonged. It will last all our lives and will end only when we accept death with resignation from the hands of God. Ours is the martyrdom of virtue. … It is necessary, then, to descend into the mire of humility and to remain there until we die. Only after we have died to ourselves, shall we rise again in God. After the death of our lower instincts and vices, we shall find a new life.”
One Minute Reflection – 30 October – “Month of the Holy Rosary” and Mary’s Day – Readings: Romans 11: 1-2a, 11-12, 25-29; Psalm 94: 12-15, 17-18; Luke 14: 1, 7-11
“He told a parable to those who had been invited, noticing how they were choosing the places of honour at the table.” – Luke 14:7
REFLECTION – “When,” He says, “a man more honoUrable than you comes, he that invited you and him will say, ‘Give this man place.’” Oh, what great shame is there in having to do this! It is like a theft, so to speak and the restitution of the stolen goods. He must restore what he has seized because he had no right to take it. The modest and praiseworthy person, who without fear of blame might have claimed the dignity of sitting among the foremost, does not seek it. He yields to others what might be called his own, that he may not even seem to be overcome by empty pride. Such a one shall receive honour as his due. He says, “He shall hear Him who invited him say, ‘Come up here.’”
If anyone among you wants to be set above others, let him win it by the decree of Heaven and be crowned by those honours that God bestows. Let him surpass the many, by having the testimony of glorious virtues. The rule of virtue is a lowly mind that does not love boasting. It is humility. The blessed Paul also counted this worthy of all esteem. He writes to those who eagerly desire saintly pursuits, “Love humility.” – St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) The Pillar of Faith” Father and Doctor (Commentary on Luke, Homily 101)
PRAYER – Lord Jesus, help us to appreciate and live Your spiritual virtues and give them the first place in our hearts. Grant that we may always seek them first and remain forever united with You. Send Your Spirit with His gifts and blessings and may the Mother of all Virtue, assist us in our need. Help us to follow the path of humility, the Blessed Virgin so splendidly taught us and may we always beseech Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, for her intercession, that we may obtain from You, a place in Your Kingdom. Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, pray for us. We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God now and for all times, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 30 October – “Month of the Holy Rosary” and Mary’s Day
Through Thee, to Us, our Saviour Came To Our Lady of the Rosary By St Amadeus of Lausanne O.Cist (1108-1159)
Through thee, to us, our Saviour came, Through thee, to Him, we fain would go. Our lives are marred by wrong and shame, Yet, confidence in thee we know. The friendship thou dost give to all Who love thy name, shall ever be Assurance thou wilt hear our call, Sweet Lady of the Rosary!
Thou art our Strength upon the way, Our Morning Star, to cheer and guide; Our Beacon Light to show the day, And lead us to the Saviour’s Side; A Comforter in ev’ry pain We find, O Mother blest, in thee, And seek we, never, thee in vain, Fair Lady of the Rosary!
Thy praises, Mary, we would sing, And all our faculties employ, That unto thee our hearts might bring A glory-crown of love and joy. Bless thou each humble effort made In thy regard and grant that we, May by thy influence be swayed, Our Lady of the Rosary!
Saint of the Day – 30 October – Saint Gerard of Potenza (Died 1119) Bishop of Potenza, miracle-worker. Born at Piancenza, Italy and died on 30 October 1119 of natural causes in the same City. Patronage – Potenza. Diocese and the City if Potenza. Additional Memorial 30 May – translation of his relics.
Gerard was a native of Piacenza and, having moved to Potenza, he was chosen as Bishop for his virtues and his thaumaturgical activity. Died after just eight years of episcopate, his successor Manfredo wrote a Life of the Saint leading to his Canonisation by Pope Callistus II.
Gerard, was a descendant of the noble and illustrious La Porta family and was Bishop of this City from 1111 to 1119. He was a man of culture and solid piety. After spending his youth in Southern Italy, like so many other noble souls of his time, either in search of solitude or to be closer to the embarkation points of the Crusaders, on their way to the holy places.
When he arrived in Potenza, Gerard saw a vast field of apostolate opening up, especially among the youth. Opening the treasures of his culture and goodness to everyone, he attracted the sympathy and love of all the people.
On the death of the Bishop, the clergy and people elected him as their new Bishop and shepherd. He was consecrated Bishop in Acerenza. The dignity achieved, did not change the austerity of his life or the simplicity of his manners. Manfred, his Biographer and later successor in the episcopal role, describes this period of his life thus – “Honoured by pontifical glory, he appeared humbler, more meek, more humble, more benign, more diligent, in the exercise of the virtues.“
The Lord was pleased to make the holiness of His servant while still alive ,shine forth, with numerous miraculous signs, such as the changing of water into wine. Just a year after his death, the Pontiff of Rome Callistus II proclaimed his holiness.
The bones of St Gerard rest under the Altar dedicated to him ,in the Cathedral Church of Potenza. The Saint is honoured, in a particular way, on 30 October, the day of his death and on 30 May in memory of the translation of his bones to the new Cathedral, made by Bishop Oberto in 1250.
Madonna della Mondovi / Our Lady of Mondovi, Piemonte, Italy – 16th Century – 30 October:
Our Lady of Mond0vi, also known as the Madonna della Mondovi, is located at Vicoforte, in Piedmont, Italy. There a picture was found upon which a tile-maker had painted and placed on a brick pillar which he had erected for that purpose. This pillar has since been enclosed in a Church which was built in the year 1645 at the behest of Maria Cristina of France. The request was made in memory of the miraculous rescue of a child from the river, which took place in 1644 through the invocation of the image of the Blessed Virgin. Since that time there have been many miracles which have been wrought and continue to attract a great concourse of people.
The peasant folk especially venerated Our Lady at this Shrine and obtained numerous favours in answer to their prayers. The Church was enlarged in 1779 and equipped with a Baptistery in 1807. Inside, enriched with precious furnishings donated by the Savoy Princes and frescoes by Bartolomeo Guidobono and others. On the Altar, the miraculous image of the Blessed Mother is kept. The original image has been almost completely repainted in twentieth-century restorations.
St Angelo of Acri OFM Cap (1669-1739) Priest of the Franciscan Capuchins, Confessor, Preacher, Missionary, Evangeliser, Miracle-Worker, Apostle of Charity and Mercy to the sick, Mystic with the gifts of prophecy, bi-location, visions and the ability to see into men’s souls in Confession. His body is incorrupt and is enshrined in in the Basilica dedicated to him in Acri. The Story of St Angelo: https://anastpaul.com/2018/10/30/saint-of-the-day-30-october-st-angelo-of-acri-ofm-cap/
St Herbert of Tours Bl Jean-Michel Langevin Bl John Slade St Lucanus of Lagny St Marcellus the Centurion St Marcian of Syracuse St Maximus of Cumae St Nanterius of Saint-Mihiel Bl Oleksa Zarytsky (1912-1963) Martyr Bl Raymond of Cardona St Saturninus of Cagliari St Serapion of Antioch St Talarica of Scotland Bl Terrence Albert O’Brien St Theonestus of Philippi (Died 425) Bishop, Martyr St Zenobia of Aegea St Zenobius of Aegea — Martyrs in Africa: A group of 100 to 200 Christians murdered in the early persecutions, and about whom we know nothing except that they died for their faith.
Thought for the Day – 29 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Month of the Holy Rosary” “Mary, Our Hope”
“These expressions of confidence in Mary’s powerful intercession, should not lead us astray, however. They hold good with absolute certainty, only for those who have true devotion to Mary. Even if they are sinners, such clients of Mary, must have at least the good intention of changing their lives and never offending God again. Sin and sincere devotion to Our Lady, cannot co-exist! “Relinquish every intention of sinning.” St Gregory VII wrote to the Princess Matilde, “and you will find Mary more eager to help you than any earthly mother” (Lib 1, Ep 47).
We should ask, furthermore, for spiritual favours first of all. Later we can ask for temporal favours, if they are to our spiritual advantage.
Finally, if we are to have a true devotion to Mary, we must love and imitate her. as well as pray to her. Anyone who sincerely tries to do all this, is certain of salvation!”
“Speak the Truth in a million voices. It is silence that kills.”
“Nothing great is ever achieved, without much enduring.”
“Start being brave about everything. Drive out darkness and spread light. Don’t look at your weaknesses. Realise instead, that in Christ crucified, you can do everything.”
St Catherine of Siena (1347-1380) Doctor of the Church
“You cannot have two heavens – it is impossible to enjoy yourself here and afterward, to reign with Christ.”
Thomas à Kempis CRSA (1380-1471)
“We cannot go to heaven in featherbeds.”
“If we lived in a Country where virtue was profitable, common sense would make us saintly. But since we see that avarice, anger, pride and stupidity commonly profit, far beyond charity, modesty, justice and thought, perhaps we must stand fast a little, even at the risk of being heroes.”
“You wouldn’t abandon ship in a storm, just because you couldn’t control the winds.”
St Thomas More (1478-1535)
“Hate what the world seeks and seek, what it avoids.”
St Ignatius Loyola SJ (1491-1556)
“Devotion to the Most Sacred Heart, is the Extraordinary Remedy, for the Extraordinary needs of our time.”
One Minute Reflection – 29 October – “Month of the Holy Rosary” – Readings: Romans 9: 1-5; Psalm 147: 12-15, 19-20; Luke 14: 1-6
“One Sabbath, when he went to dine at the house of a ruler of the Pharisees, they were watching him carefully.” – Luke 14:1
REFLECTION – “The world’s eternal and invisible Creator, preparing to save humankind, which for long ages had been hindered by it’s subjection to the heavy law of death, deigned “in these last days” (Heb 1:2) to become man … that in His mercy He might redeem those, who in justice, He condemned. And so, as to show the depth of His love for us, He not only became a man but a poor and humble man so that, by drawing near to us in His poverty, He might make us sharers in His riches (2 Cor 8:9). So poor did He become for our sake, that He had nowhere to lay His head: “Foxes have dens and the birds of the air have their nest but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head” (Mt 8:20).
This is the reason why He agreed to go and dine wherever He was invited, not out of an excessive enjoyment in eating but, so that He could teach the way of salvation and stimulate faith. There He would fill the guests with light by His miracles and the servants, who were kept busy inside and were not free to go with Him, would hear the words of salvation. Indeed, He despised no-one and none were considered unworthy of His love because “he has mercy on all; he hates nothing of what he has made and takes care of them all” (Wsd 11:24).
So that He might carry out this work of salvation the Lord entered the house of an eminent Pharisee on the sabbath. The scribes and Pharisees watched Him with the intention of calling Him to account, so that if He were to cure the man with dropsy they could accuse Him of breaking the Law and, if He did not, they could accuse Him of blasphemy or inability … By the pure light of His word of truth, they were to see the darkness of their deceit vanish away. …” – Blessed Guerric of Igny O.Cist (c 1080-1157) – Cistercian Abbot (Liturgical sermons).
PRAYER – Almighty, ever-living God, shed the light of Your glory on the peoples who are living in the shadow of death, as You did long ago, when our Lord Jesus Christ, the Sun of Justice, came among us from on high. As He taught us the way to life may we keep the precepts and finally reach our everlasting home. May the Mother of Jesus, our Lord and our always loving and merciful Mother, keep us forever in her prayers. With Jesus our Lord and our God, with the Holy Spirit, one God with You now and for all eternity, amen.
O Lord, Have Mercy upon Me, a Sinner By St Wulfstan (c 1008–1095) Bishop of Worcester
O Lord, have mercy upon me, a sinner. Establish my heart in Your will. Grant me true repentance for my sins, give a right faith and true charity, patience in adversity and moderation in prosperity. Help me and all my friends and family, all who ask for and trust in my prayers. Show mercy to all who have done me good and helped me to the knowledge of good and grant everlasting forgiveness to all who have spoken or thought evil against me. To You, my God and to all Your holy ones, be praise and glory forever, for all the benefits which You have granted me and for all Your mercy, shown to me, a sinner. Amen
Saint of the Day – 29 October – Saint Abraham Kidunaia (c 296-c 366) Priest, Confessor, Hermit, Missionary. Born in c 296 at Edessa, Osrhoene, Mesopotamia (in modern Syria) and died in c 366 at Edessa, Osrhoene, Mesopotamia (in modern Syria) of natural causes. The Vita of St Abraham was written by his friend, St Ephrem (306-373) Father and Doctor of the Church. Also known as – Abraham the Great of Kidunja, Abraham of Edessa, Abraham of Kidunja, Abrhahn of Kidunaja.
Abraham Kidunaia was born to a wealthy family during the third century. After receiving an excellent education, Abraham was encouraged to get married. He followed the wishes of his parents but after the wedding ceremony, he told his bride his desire to remain a virgin and dedicate his life to God. His bride accepted this resolution and Abraham retired to a hermitage near Edessa, a City near Mesopotamia.
Ten years after he retreated from the world, his parents died and left a great amount of wealth to Abraham. As soon as he was aware of this, he asked a friend to distribute the sum to charitable causes. Through actions like this and his deep prayer life, Abraham became known throughout the region as a holy man and many came to him for guidance.
His reputation even came to the ears of the Bishop, and when Edessa became poisoned with sin and idolatry, Abraham was Ordained and asked to go to the City preaching reform. Abraham was greatly distressed by this, but obeyed the wishes of the Bishop.
When Abraham arrived in Edessa, none of the residents would listen to his words. Needless to say, the infuriated inhabitants beat him and expelled him from their midst. In the morning he was back, praying in his Church and from there went out to preach again to the the people, urging them to give up their superstitions and abominations. This time, he was stoned and left for dead but recovering, again returned and bearing insults, isolation and mistreatment, he persevered. After three years, the inhabitants of Beth-Kiduna realised that there was something to this man’s meekness and patience, and began to listen to him.
Eventually, through constant prayer, Abraham converted them. After baptising and confirming the many converts in the region, Abraham passed his apostolic work onto another. Abraham returned to his hermitage to continue his life of solitary prayer.
He lived for many years until his death at the age of seventy,.around the year 366 Abraham had lived a life of faithful service to God.
Nostra Signora di Oropa / Our Lady of Oropa, Piedmont, Italy (3rd Century) – 29 October:
This image, of cedar wood, six feet high, is in a Chapel which Saint Eusebius, Bishop of Vercelli (c 283-371), caused to be built. He often retired there during the troubles caused by the Arians. The Sanctuary of the black Virgin of Oropa, high in the Alps north of Biella, is traditionally associated with Saint Eusebius of Vercelli, who died in 371 but the circumstances of the story are anachronistic. Yet the Shrine is certainly an old one, and throughout the Middle Ages was associated with a Community of Canon Regulars. The vast range of buildings there today were begun by the Dukes of Savoy, early in the seventeenth century and form one of the most complete pilgrimage centres in the world (there is even a theatre). It is recorded that here in 1895, contemplating the space and beauty of the mountains, Marconi heard the first call to his life’s work.
The black cedar-wood Statue has been crowned four times, the last time in 1920 – the three superimposed diadems (the fourth is represented by a halo of twelve stars) can hardly be said to add to the beauty of the image.
Discovery of the Statue of Our Lady of Oropa at Jerusalem – Saint Eusebius who had been exiled to Syria because of his differences with the Arians, died in the year c 371. While in exile, the Emperor Constantine permitted him some freedom. Eusebius discovered among some ruins in Jerusalem three Statues of Our Lady. On his triumphant return after the Arians had been temporarily overthrown, he gave two of the Statues away . The third he kept for himself, placing it in a little hermitage at Oropa which he often visited. In the 5th and 6th centuries when Arianism again reared its ugly head, the faithful Catholics took refuge at the Shrine of Our Lady of Oropa. At one time it was decided to transport the Statue to another place. As the procession marched along, the Statue became so heavy that the men who carried it could not move on. Only when they decided to take Our Lady back to her original Shrine at Oropa were they able to move.
The last addition to the sanctuary was the Upper Basilica, a monumental Church built between 1885 and 1960 due to the large number of pilgrims visiting Oropa. It can hold 3000 people and its dome is 80 metres high.
In 1617, the complex of the Sacro Monte di Oropa (literally Sacred Mount of Oropa) was built not far from the Sanctuary. It is a devotional path now composed of twelve Chapels (plus another seven nearby) containing groups of Statues representing scenes from the story of the Virgin Mary’s life. The Chapel of Our Lady of Oropa is a beautiful one and thousands of pilgrims today make their way there as they have done over the centuries. The Holy See asked the authorities in 1856 to make a list of the miracles recorded at the Shrine. It is long and impressive. Then, as now, Our Lady of Oropa has a way with her Divine Son.
St Abraham Kidunaia (c 296-c 366) Priest, Hermit. The Vita of St Abraham was written by his friend, St Ephrem (306-373) Father and Doctor of the Church. St Abraham of Rostov St Achahildis of Wendelstein St Anne of Mount Olympus
St Sigolinus of Stavelot St Stephen of Cajazzo St Terence of Metz St Theodore of Vienne St Zenobius of Sidon — Martyrs of Douai – (160 saints and beati): 160 priests, laymen and religious who studied at the English College in Douai, France, then returned to minister to covert Catholics in England during a period of government persecution of the Church, and were murdered for their work.
Martyrs of Lucania – (4 saints): A group of Christians executed together for their faith. Only their names have survived – Felician, Hyacinth, Lucius and Quintus. Their martyrdom occurred in Lucania, southern Italy.
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War: • Blessed Arsenio Merino Miguel • Blessed Benito Paradela Novoa • Blessed Joaquina Rey Aguirre • Blessed José Ruiz Bruixola • Blessed Maurilio Tobar González • Blessed Ponciano Nieto Asensio • Blessed Victoria Arregui Guinea
Thought for the Day – 28 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Month of the Holy Rosary” “The Refuge of Sinners”
“Mary is called, the Star of Sea because, as St Thomas Aquinas says, “even as sailors are guided into port, by means of a star, so Christians are guided towards Heaven, by means of Mary, .” (Opuse, 7). This absolute guarantee of the protection of our heavenly Mother, should increase our trust in her and lead us to turn towards her in every difficulty and temptation. It should not, however, result in an unhealthy attitude of spiritual inactivity, a passive dependence on Mary’s favours, without any co-operation on our part. Such behaviour would be the height of filial ingratitude. Mary will certainly save repentant sinners who have recourse to her but she cannot pay any attention to hardened sinners, who pray to her with their lips, while their hearts remain steeped in sin. We must have complete confidence in her but, we must also have a sincere intention of raising ourselves under her protection, from the slavery of sin, to the friendship of God.”
One Minute Reflection – 28 October – Feast of Saints Simon and Jude, Apostles and Martyrs – Readings: Ephesians 2: 19-22; Psalm 19: 2-5; Luke 6: 12-16
“When day came, he called his disciples to himself and from them, he chose Twelve, whom he also named Apostles…” – Luke 6:13
REFLECTION – “Our Lord Jesus Christ has appointed certain men to be guides and teachers of the world and stewards of His Divine Mysteries. Now He bids them to shine out like lamps and to cast out their light, not only over the land of the Jews but over every country under the sun and over people, scattered in all directions and settled in distant lands. That man has spoken truly who said – ‘No-one takes honour upon himself, except the one who is called by God,’ for it was our Lord Jesus Christ who called His own disciples before all others, to a most glorious apostolate. These holy men became the pillar and mainstay of the Truth and Jesus said, that He was sending them, just as the Father had sent Him.
… Accordingly, in affirming that they are sent by Him just as He was sent by the Father, Christ sums up in a few words the approach they themselves should take to their ministry. From what He said they would gather that it was their vocation to call sinners to repentance, to heal those who were sick whether in body or spirit, to seek in all their dealings never to do their own will but the will of Him who sent them and as far as possible, to save the world by their teaching.
Surely, it is in all these respects, that we find His holy disciples striving to excel. To ascertain this is no great labour, a single reading of the Acts of the Apostles or of Saint Paul’s writings is enough.” – St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Bishop, Fther & Doctor of the Church (An excerpt from his Commentary on the Gospel of John)
PRAYER – Lord God, You taught us to call upon Your name, through the preaching of the Apostles. Open our eyes each day, grant that we may see Jesus Your Son at our side, open our ears that we may hear His voice, open our mouths, that we may beg forgiveness and proclaim the good news, as we follow the way Your Son carved out for us. At the intercession of Sts Simon and Jude, may Your Church continue to grow and to hope in Your love. We make our prayer through Jesus our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 28 October – Feast of Saints Simon and Jude Apostles
O Fathers of Our Ancient Faith
O Fathers of our ancient faith, With all the heav’n, we sing your fame Whose sound went forth in all the earth To tell of Christ and bless His name.
You took the gospel to the poor, The Word of God alight in you, Which in our day is told again, That timeless Word, forever new.
You told of God, who died for us And out of death triumphant rose, Who gave the Truth which made us free and changeless through the ages goes.
Praise Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Whos gift is faith that never dies, A light in darkness now, until The Day-Star in our hearts arise.
O Fathers of Our Ancient Faith is written by the Benedictine Nuns of Stanbrook Abbey. In the Divine Office (1974) it is sung at Morning Prayer in the Common of Apostles. It is set to the anonymous tune associated with the 7th century Latin hymn, Creator Alme Siderum.
Saint of the Day – 28 October – Saint Eadsin of Canterbury (Died 1050) Archbishop of Canterbury from 1038 to 1050, Monk. He crowned St Edward the Confessor as King of England in 1043.Died in late October 1050 of natural causes. Also known as – Eadsige, Edsige, Eadsimus.
Little is known about the life of the Saint but we do know that he became a Priest and was attached to the Royal Court of King Cnut before King Cnut, in around 1030, arranged for him to enter the Monastery as a Monk at Christ Church, Canterbury, at his request. In around 1035, he served as a the auxilliary Bishop to Archbishop Æthelnoth of Canterbury, with his base located at the Church of St Martin in Canterbury. He was transferred to the Archbishopric of Canterbury in 1038 after Æthelnoth’s death. In 1040, he journeyed to Rome to receive his Pallium from Pope Benedict IX.
Eadsin may have crowned Harthacnut in 1040 but he definitely crowned St Edward the Confessor, along with Ælfric Puttoc, the Archbishop of York. on 3 April 1043 In 1044, Eadsin, wishing to withdraw from his See because of ill-health, appears to have approached King Edward and Godwin, Earl of Wessex, about temporarily consecrating Siward, Abbot of Abingdon, in Eadsins place. This retirement lasted until 1048, when Siward became ill and returned to Abingdon to die within eight weeks of his retirement. Eadsin returned to his Diocese and resumed his care of the Archdiocese of Canterbury until his death 2 years later.
Lord of Miracles/Señor de los Milagros de Nazarenas – A mid-17th-century painting of the Crucifixion that is venerated in Lima, Peru and its celebration involves one of the largest processions in the world.
It was painted by an unnamed African taken to Peru as a slave from what is now Angola. Above the Cross is the Holy Spirit and God the Father. Below and to the right of Jesus, is His mother, the Virgin Mary with her heart pierced by a sword of sorrow. Kneeling and weeping at the foot of the cross is St Mary Magdalene.
The name originated on 13 November 1655 when everything around it was destroyed in an earthquake that left the painting standing and undamaged. Christ is shown enduring the pain of Crucifixion. Every year in October, hundreds of thousands of devotees from all races and economic backgrounds participate in a procession honouring the image through the streets of Lima. Boulevards are decorated in purple on 18,19 and the final Feast 28 October to celebrate the Lord of Miracles.
Notre-Dame de Vivonne / Our Lady of Vivonne, Savoy, France – 28 October:
The Abbot Mathieu Orsini wrote: “Our Lady of Vivonne, in Savoy, where a miraculous image is venerated, which was found by a ploughman while preparing his field for the spring planting.”
Vivonne is a village in France having a population of somewhat less than 5,000 inhabitants and located about 20 kilometers south of Poitiers. It is situated on a rocky height looking down upon the three rivers that flow through the region. There are apparently two Churches in the village, the better known church being the Church of Saint George, on which construction began in the twelfth century. The other Church is Our Lady of Sais-les-Vivonne. According to tradition, a farmer was ploughing his field when he overturned something peculiar in the sod. To his great surprise, the man found the object was a Statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The good farmer took the Statue, now known as Our Lady of Vivonne, or Notre-Dame de Vivonne, to his home. After lovingly cleaning the debris from the Statue, the farmer took it to the local Church and gave it to the Parish Priest. The Priest immediately placed the Statue in the Church later that same day. The next morning when he returned to the Church, he found that the Statue was missing. After much inquiry and searching the farmer found the Statue was once again in his field. The man returned it to the Church but once again it disappeared from its place, only to be found again in the field. This occurred a total of three times before it was decided to build a Shrine where it had been found. The strange phenomenon brought people from near and far to the Shrine. Soon the image proved to be miraculous and pilgrimages began. The Church which was built to honour the image of Our Lady was given to the Carmelite Order. I can find no images of this Church online.
St Abdias of Babylon St Abraham of Ephesus St Alberic of Stavelot St Anastasia the Elder St Anglinus of Stavelot St Cyril of Rome St Cyrilla of Rome St Diomedes the Younger St Dorbhene of Iona St Eadsin of Canterbury (Died 1050) Archbishop of Canterbury St Elius of Lyon St Faro of Meaux
St Genesius of Thiers St Gioan Dat St Godwin of Stavelot St Maria Ascuncion St Remigius of Lyons St Rodrigo Aguilar Aleman St Salvius of Amiens — Martyrs of Avila – 3 saints: Two sisters and a brother who, during a period of persecution, fled Talavera de la Reina, Spain, were caught and executed. Martyrs: Christeta, Sabina and Vincent. 303 in Avila, Spain.
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War: • Blessed Claudio Julían García San Román • Blessed Maria Asuncion
Thought for the Day – 27 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Month of the Holy Rosary” “Holy Mary”
“The Angel’s greeting was later completed by the salavation of St Elizabeth. As soon as Elizabeth saw the Blessed Virgin coming to visit her, she cried out in humble veneratin: “Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb!” (Lk 1:42).
In the first part of the Hail Mary, then, we pay her the words of the Gospel, the highest tributes ever accorded to any human creature, proclaiming her to be full of grace, blessed among women and Mother of the Redeemer. The second part, which was later added by the Church, (composed and proposed by St Peter Canisius 1521-1597) Doctor of the Church), is a heartfelt supplication addressed to Mary as the Mother of God and our Mother. “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death, amen.” It would be hard to find a more touching plea. We ask our heavenly Mother to intercede for us now because we have such great need of her assistance in this vale of tears and temptations. May she be always by our side, to shelter us beneath her mantle!”
Quote/s of the Day – 27 October – Readings: Romans 8: 26-30; Psalm 13: 4-6; Luke 13: 22-30
“And people will come from the east and the west and from the north and the south …”
“It becomes no man to nurse despair but, in the teeth of clenched antagonisms, to follow up the Worthiest [One] till he die.”
St Alfred the Great (859-899) King
“A good man is not a perfect man; a good man is an honest man, faithful and unhesitatingly responsive to the Voice of God in his life.”
St John Fisher (1469-1535) Bishop, Martyr
“Just as speech has been given to men to be the interpreter of their feelings and desires, so it is through the conscience, that God teaches us, what He judges of everything and what He expects of each one of us. This divine Voice forms various interior words, to express various lessons and the different orders, that it pleases God to give to His creature. It is the bond of communication that the Lord desires to have with us and the most usual organ he makes use of, to touch our hearts and open to us His own.”
One Minute Reflection – 27 October – “Month of the Holy Rosary” – Readings: Romans 8: 26-30; Psalm 13: 4-6; Luke 13: 22-30 and the Memorial of Saint Elesbaan of Ethiopia (Died c 555) King of Ethiopia, Confessor
“And people will come from the east and the west and from the north and the south …” – Luke 13:29
REFLECTION – Those who approach God, leaning on Him with a desire to be saved, are saved indeed. For it is divine inspiration that enables them to conceive this desire for salvation and they come to knowledge of Truth enlightened by Him who calls them. They are indeed children of promise, the reward of faith, the spiritual descendants of Abraham, “a chosen race, a holy priesthood” (1 Pt 2:9), foreknown from long ago and predestined for eternal life. … Through the mediation of Isaiah, our Lord makes known His grace to us, to make new creatures of us all – “See, I am doing something new! Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? In the desert I make a way, in the wasteland, rivers …)for my chosen people to drink, the people whom I formed for myself that they might announce my praise” And elsewhere …) “To me every knee shall bend, by me every tongue shall swear” (Is 43:19 f; 45:23).
There is no question but that all this will come to pass because God’s foreknowledge never fails nor do His plans alter, His will is ever active and His promises cannot be mistaken. Therefore, all those to whom these words refer shall be saved. For He sets His laws in their consciences and with His finger He writes them in their hearts (Rom 2:15). They gain access to knowledge of God, not under the influence of human teaching but the guidance of the best of masters – “Therefore, neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything but only God, who causes the growth” (1 Cor 3:7). …It is given to them all to have a changed heart and just judgement together with an upright will. God brings fear to birth in these people so that they may be instructed in His commandments. … They rejoice in the power of His mercy and all the miracles He has done, for God has chosen them and made them His children, heirs of the new covenant (Jr 31:31).” – St Prosper of Aquitaine (Died c 460) Lay Theologian, Writer and disciple of St Augustine (he was the first continuer of St Jerome’s Universal Chronicle) – (The Summons to All People)
PRAYER – Shed Your clear light on our hearts, Lord, so that walking continually in the way of Your commandments, we may never be deceived or misled. Grant that the prayers of our Blessed Mother, who always holds Your Light up for others to see by, give us strength. Through Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 27 October – “Month of the Holy Rosary”
She, who stands at the Altar of the Eucharistic Sacrifice, without many of us today, will always be our help, most especially in these times of increasing persecution. Although deprived of the Sacraments, we will never be deprived of her Perpetual Succour.
Most Holy Virgin Mary, Help of Christian By St John Bosco (1815-1888)
Most Holy Virgin Mary, Help of Christians, how sweet it is to come to thy feet imploring thy perpetual help. If earthly mothers cease not to remember their children, how can thou, the most loving of all mothers, forget me? Grant then to me, I implore thee thy perpetual help in all my necessities, in every sorrow and especially in all my temptations. I ask for thy unceasing help for all who are now suffering. Help the weak, cure the sick, convert sinners. Grant through thy intercession, many vocations to the religious life. Obtain for us, O Mary, Help of Christians, that having invoked thee on earth we may love and eternally thank thee in Heaven. Amen
Saint of the Day – 27 October – Saint Elesbaan of Ethiopia (Died c 555) King of Ethiopia, Confessor, Penitent Hermit and Monk. Also known as – Elesbaan of Axum, Ella Atsbeha, Ella Asbeha, Calam-Negus, Calam, Caleb, Elesbaas, Elesbas, Elesboas, Eleuzoe, Hellestheaeus, Kaleb.
The Roman Martyrology states today: “St Elesbaan, King, who after having defeated the enemies of Christ and sent his Royal Diadem to Jerusalem, in the time of Emperor Justin, led a monastical life, as he had vowed and went to his reward.”
In the 6th century Ethiopia was ruled by King St Elesbaan, who was raised from childhood in the Catholic Faith. King Elesbaan ruled his country with wisdom and was esteemed by his people.
At that time, Ethiopia was part of the Eastern Roman Empire, under Justinian I. Across the Red Sea, Arabia had fallen to Dunaan, a King who apostatised from the Catholic Faith and adhered to Judaism. He was a despotic ruler, persecuting the Bishops and clergy and destroying the Churches or transforming them into synagogues. St Gregentius, Bishop of Tafas, was expelled from his Diocese; St Aretas, governor of Nagran and leader of the Catholic reaction, was beheaded along with his wife, children and 340 of his people. Around 4,000 Catholics were killed without trial after suffering many cruelties.
Emperor Justinian called on King Elesbaan to chastise the usurper. The King gathered his army and crossed the Red Sea to punish the affront to Catholic honour. Elesbaan landed in Arabia, defeated Dunaan and executed him. Then he restored St Gregentius to his episcopal see, rebuilt the Churches and remained in the country until Ebrahamos, who was Catholic, was elected King of the Arabs.
Once his mission of justice and peace was accomplished, he returned to Ethiopia and ruled there for some years more, carefully instructing his son in the Catholic Faith, making him heir of his zeal and piety and the direction of the Kingdom. Then he renounced his title and handed the rule of the Kingdom to his son.
Disguised as a Hermit, he retired to a Monastery in the mountains. There he lived as a simple religious dedicated to prayer, obedience and work. He carried nothing with him out of the Palace but a mat to lie on and a cup to drink from. His food was only bread, with which he sometimes took a few dry herbs; he never drank anything but water. He would not allow himself the least distinction above the least among his brethren and was the first in every duty of his new state.
No seculars ever had access to him and his whole employment consisted in the exercises of penance, the contemplation of heavenly things and conversing with God, by whom he was at length called, to a happy death, to reign eternally with Christ.
He died with a reputation of sanctity on 27 October c 555. Often he is pictured as a solitary Hermit holding a Cross and with a Crown at his feet.
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