Thought for the Day – 12 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Month of the Holy Rosary” The Fourth Sorrowful Mystery The Road to Calvary
“The Moment soon pases. The executioners urge Jesus forward once more, towards the place of execution. His strength is exhausted and He stumbles several times beneath the weight of the Cross. Each time, however, He rises, covered with blood and dust and again, embraces the Cross.
How often we also fall! Sometimes because of the weight of our cross, we fall in discouragement or in despair. On these occasions, let us look towards the divine Sufferer and embrace our cross again, for it is the ladder by which we must ascend to Heaven.
Sometimes, it is sin which causes us to fall. If we have yielded to the violence of temptation, let us look towards Jesus, just the same. He Who loved us so much on the way to Calvary and on the tree of the Cross, is certainly ready to forgive and comfort us.
Quote/s of the Day – 12 October – “Month of the Holy Rosary” and the Memorial of St Serafino of Montegranaro OFM Cap (1540-1604)
“Be constant in secret prayers which God, Who indeed sees in secret, rewards in the open. Hold fast to this exercise of a most excellent way of life. that you may ﬁnd hidden treasure in the day of need.”
St Basil the Great (329-379) Father and Doctor of the Church
“I have nothing, just a Crucifix and a Rosary but with these, I hope to benefit the Friars and become a Saint.”
Said by St Serafino upon entering the Novitiate
“… [I] resolved to recite a Rosary for anyone who caused me trouble. Then I heard the voice from the Tabernacle say, ‘Your prayers for those who mortify you, are very pleasing to Me. In exchange, I am ready to grant you many graces.‘”
Saint Serafino prayed each day:
“Holy Mother, pierce me through, In my heart each wound renew Of my Saviour Crucified.”
One Minute Reflection – 12 October – “Month of the Holy Rosary” – Readings: Romans 1: 16-25; Psalm 19: 2-5; Luke 11: 37-41 and the Memorial of St Serafino of Montegranaro OFM Cap (1540-1604)
And the Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the dish but inside you are full of extortion and wickedness.”…Luke 11:39
REFLECTION – “The Pharisee invites Him to an entertainment for his own purpose. The Saviour of all, submits to this for providence’s sake. He made the matter an opportunity of giving instruction, not consuming the time of their meeting in the enjoyment of food and delicacies but, in the task of making those ,who were assembled there, more virtuous. The dull Pharisee himself, supplied an occasion for His speech, “because he wondered,” it says, “that he did not wash before dinner.” Did he wonder at Him, as having done something of which he approved, as being especially worthy of the saints? This was not his view. How could it be? On the contrary, he was offended because, although He had the reputation of a righteous man and a prophet, He did not conform Himself to their unreasonable customs.
Our argument is this. “O foolish Pharisee, you boast much of your knowledge of the sacred Scriptures. You are always quoting the law of Moses. Tell us where Moses gave you this commandment? What commandment ordained by God requires people to wash before eating? The waters of sprinkling were indeed given by the command of Moses for the cleansing of bodily uncleanness, as being a type of the Baptism which really is holy and cleansing, even that in Christ. Those who were called to the priesthood were also bathed in water. The divine Moses bathed Aaron and the Levites. The law thereby declared by means of the baptism enacted in type and shadow that even its priesthood did not have what is sufficient for sanctification. On the contrary, it needs divine and holy Baptism for the true cleansing.” – St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Father and Doctor of the the Incarnation of the Church (Commentary on Luke, “Homily 83”).
PRAYER – Lord God, open our hearts to Your Grace, that we may be filled with Your light and overflow with gratitude for Your merciful love. May we love and adore and worship You in return. Although we are sinners, our hearts long to thank You in total trust and humble thankfulness. Grant that by the prayers of the Blessed Virgin Mary Queen of our Hearts and of the humble St Serafino, we may grow in holiness. Through Your only Son, our Saviour and Redeemer, with the Holy Spirit, God, forever, amen.
May Your Heart Dwell Always in our Hearts! by Saint Francis De Sales (1567-1622) Doctor of Charity
May Your Heart dwell always in our hearts! May Your Blood ever flow in the veins of our souls! O Sun of our hearts, You give life to all things by the rays of Your goodness! I will not go, until Your Heart has strengthened me, O Lord Jesus! May the Heart of Jesus be the King of my heart! Blessed be God. Amen
Saint of the Day – 12 October – St Serafino of Montegranaro OFM Cap (1540-1604) Franciscan Capuchin Lay Friar, Confessor, gifted with the charism of prophecy, mystic, Apostle of the poor, spiritual advisor, devoted to the Blessed Sacrament, the Holy Rosary and to the Blessed Virgin Mary, wonder-worker . Born as Felice Rapagnano in1540 at Montegranaro, Italy and died on 12 October 1604 at Ascoli Piceno, Italy of natural causes. Also known as – Serafino of Ascoli Piceno, Serafinus, Seraphim, Seraphin. Felix, Felice.
The Roman Martyrology states: “At Ascoli, St Seraphinus, Confessor, of the Order of Minorite Capuchins, distinguished by holiness of life and humility. Hre was enrolled among the Saints by the Sovereign Pontiff Clement XIII.”
Born Felice (Felix) Rapagnano at Montegranaro, then in the March of Fermo, he was the second of four children of poor but pious parents, Gerolamo Rapagnano and Teodora Giovannuzzi. His father was a mason. Because of their poverty, the family depended on the productivity of all of its members. The eldest son, Silenzio, followed in his father’s footsteps as a mason. The slighter and less manually adept Felix, was hired out to a local farmer as a shepherd. Felix enjoyed shepherding since it afforded him time for prayer. Even at an early age, he had an inclination toward silence, seclusion and prayer. When their father died, however, he was summoned home. His brother understood that Felix lacked the skills of a mason but hoped to use him as an unskilled laborer. All attempts proved futile. Felix could not even learn how to slake lime. He did learn, however, to put up with the physical and emotional abuse heaped upon him by his irascible brother.
Felix kept in mind stories he had heard about the desert ascetics and of their fasting and penances and dreamed of becoming like them. He confided in a friend, Luisa Vannucci from Loro Piceno, who encouraged him to enter religious life. She specifically mentioned the Capuchins because she was familiar with these Friars and with their reputation for virtue. Immediately, he left for Tolentino and presented himself to the Capuchin Provincial, expecting to be admitted that very day. But such was not the Capuchin custom. Instead, he was sent home, in all likelihood because of his age, he was just eighteen and fragile condition. In 1556, he repeated his request to the Prior Provincial, who this time accepted him and sent him to the Novitiate of the Province at Jesi.
After he completed a year of probation, Felix received the religious name of Serafino (meaning “seraph” or “celestial being or the burning one”). Upon entering the Order, he remarked, “I have nothing, just a Crucifix and a Rosary but with these, I hope to benefit the Friars and become a Saint.” Serafino was distinguished from the first, by his unaffected simplicity, mortification and obedience, as well as a great charity towards the poor. He had a special devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and to the Blessed Virgin. He was assigned to serve variously as a porter or questor at various Friaries throughout the March but most of his religious life was spent at Ascoli Piceno.
Serafino’s physical appearance was described as that of a peasant – hair always rumpled, clumsy at manual tasks and mainly illiterate. But his holiness was recognised by many. At times, he was discouraged by the ridicule of his Capuchin brothers. He would regain his composure through prayer. He explained, “When I entered religious life I was a poor, unskilled labourer, lacking both talent and potential. I remained as I was and this caused so many humiliations and rebukes, which the devil used as opportunities to tempt me to leave religious life and retreat to some desert, withdrawing into myself. I entrusted myself to the Lord and, one night I heard a voice coming from the Tabernacle say, ‘To serve God you must die to yourself and accept adversity, of whatever type.’ So I accepted them and resolved to recite a Rosary for anyone who caused me trouble. Then I heard the voice from the Tabernacle say, ‘Your prayers for those who mortify you are very pleasing to me. In exchange, I am ready to grant you many graces.‘”
A Capuchin custom was to keep rooms near the Porter’s Office available for the use of travelLers and pilgrims. At whatever hour of the night, Serafino would answer the door. Many recounted that, after the City gates had been closed for the night, they had sought refuge at the Capuchin Friary, which were usually located outside the City walls and that they had been welcomed warmly by Serafino. He spent entire nights in Church. Friars testified that, after everyone else had gone to bed, they would often hear him walking toward the Church to spend the night in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament. There he was heard praying, “Peace, Lord, I ask peace for so-and-so.” He once confided that the reason he spent so much of the night before the Tabernacle was because, in his room, he was greatly tempted against chastity, even in his old age.
Memories agree, that Serafino was endowed with the gift of reading the secrets of hearts and with that of miracles and prophecy. Although unlettered, Serafino’s advice was sought by secular and ecclesiastical dignitaries. His reputation reached as far as the Dukes of Bavaria and Parma, the nobles of Bologna and Cardinal Ottavio Bandini. The Bishop of Ascoli, the eminent theologian Cardinal Girolamo Bernerio, also sought out his advice.
Serafino was austere in his person. Only once in his life did he accept a new religious habit and then, only out of obedience. For forty continuous years, he ate only soup or salad. In keeping with the spirituality prevalent at the time, Serafino had a personal devotion of serving as many Masses as possible. To avoid having people kiss his hand or tunic to show their respect, he would carry a Crucifix with him, offering it for them to kiss instead.
However, Serafino was also endowed with a great sense of humour. Once, a woman asked him if she would give birth to a boy or a girl. He attempted to avoid answering. But the woman insisted, saying, “How shall I know what name to choose?” Chuckling, Serafino responded, “As far as that goes, choose Ursula and Companions,” indicating that throughout her life the woman would give birth to a succession of girls.
Even before Serafino’s burial in 1604, his first biographer put pen to paper. He was Canonised by Pope Clement XIII on 16 July 1767. Pope Clement Canonised Serafino together with John Cantius, Joseph Calasanz, Joseph of Cupertino, Jerome Emiliani and Jane Frances de Chantal. In the Papal Bull of Canonisation, the illiterate and physically clumsy Capuchin was acclaimed as a person who “knew how to read and understand the great book of life which is our Saviour, Jesus Christ. For that reason, he deserves to be listed among Christ’s principal disciples.”
Serafino’s tomb is in the Capuchin friary at Ascoli Piceno. A Church at San Lorenzo Nuovo is dedicated to him.
Serafino was in love with the mystery of Christ and of Our Lady. He was enthralled to meditate on them and would go into ecstasy. He would have liked to be in the fraternity at Loreto or in Rome to be able to serve as many Masses as possible each day. This was the source of his zeal – to work with Christ to save souls. He was remembered and venerated – for his brief and penetrating spiritual exhortations; for his extremely fruitful vocational apostolate; for his veneration for priests; for his compassion for the sick, the troubled and the poor; for his courageous commitment to make peace in society and in families; for his missionary enthusiasm and his desire for martyrdom. Although he was almost illiterate he could speak about the things of God with extraordinary ability and unction. When he was obliged, by obedience, to give a sermon in the refectory, his words in commenting on the psalm Qui habitat in adiutorio Altissimi, or the sequence Stabat Mater dolorosa were so full of feeling that he used to reduce everyone to tears. Dear holy Saint Serafino, pray for us all!
Virgen de Zapopan / Our Lady of Zapopan, Zapopan, Jalisco, Mexico, (1541) – 18 January, 12 October:
Today the village of Zapopan is a quiet little place not many miles from Guadalajara, reached by an excellent highway. Its tranquility and religious atmosphere must be a far cry from pre-Conquest times, when it was a feudal district and tributary of the powerful King of Tonala. In those days the Indians of the district worshiped an idol called Teopintzintl, “The Child God,” to which they offered gifts of hare and partridge. When the kingdom of Tonala bowed to Nuno de Guzman in 1530, Zapopan came under Spanish dominion. The Indian Queen, Chihuapili Tzapotzinco, ordered all the chieftains under her rule, to render their obedience to the Spanish Crown and in March of 1530 the Governor of Atemajac, under whose jurisdiction lay Zapopan, complied with this order. The Mixton War of 1541, however, depopulated the district and the Commander of Tlaltenango, Francisco de Bobadilla, obtained the Viceroy’s permission to repopulate Zapopan with Indians from Tlaltenango, thus lessening the chance of another uprising.
On the eighth of December, 1541, the people of Zapopan was resettled in accordance with the agreement, and on that day, the Franciscan Fray Antonio de Segovia, gave to the newly settled colony, a small image of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. For ten years it had accompanied him on his apostolic journeys. In fact, only a short while before, while the Mixton War was still in progress, Fray Antonio, with his missionary companion Fray Miguel de Bolonia, had gone among the warring Indians, the image about his neck, exhorting them to make peace with the Spaniards. It is related that while Fray Antonio was preaching, the Indians saw luminous rays issuing from the image of Our Lady, and that this fact, as much as his preaching, caused them to stop fighting. In thirty-six hours Fray Antonio de Segovia brought to the Viceroy for pardon, more than six thousand Indians, who had laid down their arms. From that time Fray Antonio called the image La Pacificadora, “She Who Makes Peace.”
The image is made of paste – pieces of cornstalk, smoothed and cemented together with glue. It is little more than 30 centimetres in height and represents the Virgin Mary under her title of the Immaculate Conception. The hands, joined before the breast, are of wood. The original sculpture donated by Fray Antonio de Segovia consisted only of the upper half, it is believed, the lower section having been added at a later date. As the lower half is not in proportion to the upper, the reconstruction gives a stunted effect to the image. However, nowadays the Statue is always covered with rich vestments of fabric, the disproportion is not apparent.
In its sculptured form, the Statue represents Our Lady standing with her feet upon a rudely formed crescent moon. She wears a red tunic and a dark blue mantle outlined in gold. One may find much to be desired in the image, considered as a work of art. Yet we must remember that it has the honour of being the first image of the Virgin Mary venerated in the State of Jalisco and that it has seen the Church, in that part of Mexico, grow from the tiniest seed to the great, many-branched tree of the present-day Catholic Faith. Furthermore, for over four centuries, Our Lady of Zapopan has been a constant channel of heavenly favours to the people of Jalisco. A beautiful Church has bee built to house and enshrine her and it remains a vital source of devotion and pilgrimage. Our Lady under this title is celebrated on 18 January and 12 October.
St Amelius of Mortara St Amicus of Mortara
St Carlo Acutis (1991-2006) Aged 15 Layman
St Cyprian St Domnina of Anazarbus St Edisto St Edistius of Ravenna
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War: • Blessed Bartolomé Caparrós García • Blessed Eufrasio of the Child Jesus • Blessed José González Huguet • Blessed Pedro Salcedo Puchades • Blessed Rafael Lluch Garín