Thought for the Day – 16 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Month of the Holy Rosary” The Third Glorious Mystery The Descent of the Holy Spirit
“The Apostles were completely transformed after the feast of Pentecost. They had ben ignorant rustics, timid and vacillating. They had hardly understood at all, the lofty teachings of Christ, for they were hoping still for an earthly kingdom in which they would occupy the highest posts.
When they received the Holy Spirit, however, their minds were flooded with supernatural light and they became heroic in their resolution. Ignorant, though they had been, they became masters of Truth, far superior to the sages of Athens or the philosophers of Rome. They were no longer timid and hesitating but, fearlessly encountered the power of the Sanhedrin, the whips of the soldiery, the dangers of long voyages and, Martyrdom itself.
We too have received the illumination and favours of the Holy Spirit. Many times, when we have invoked Him, He has inspired and consoled us. But we may not have responded with the same fervour and self-denial as the Apostles. Let us remember that, to neglect God’s gifts, is to risk our eternal salvation!”
Quote/s of the Day – 17 October – “Month of the Most Holy Rosary” – Readings: Romans 4: 13, 16-18; Psalm 105: 6-9, 42-43; Luke 12: 8-12
“…Do not be anxious how or what you are to answer, or what you are to say; for the Holy Spirit will teach you, in that very hour, what you ought to say.”
“Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”
“Be on your guard, stand firm in the faith, be courageous, be strong.”
1 Corinthians 16:13
“Do not say, this happened by chance, while this came to be of itself.” In all that exists there is nothing disorderly, nothing indefinite, nothing without purpose, nothing by chance … How many hairs are on your head? God will not forget one of them. Do you see how nothing, even the smallest thing, escapes the gaze of God?”
St Basil the Great (329-379) Father & Doctor of the Church
“What is the surest kind of witness? “Anyone who acknowledges that Jesus Christ came among us in the flesh” (cf. 1Jn 4,2) and who keeps the commands of the Gospel… How many there are each day of these hidden martyrs of Christ who confess the Lord Jesus! … So be faithful and courageous in interior persecutions so that you may also win the victory in exterior persecutions.”
St Ambrose (340-397) Father & Doctor of the Church
“God’s love calls us to move beyond fear. We ask God for the courage to abandon ourselves unreservedly, so that we might be moulded by God’s grace, even as we cannot see where that path may lead us.”
St Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556)
“Do not look forward to the changes and chances of this life in fear – rather look to them with full hope that, as they arise, God, whose you are, will deliver you out of them. He is your keeper. He has kept you hitherto. Do you but hold fast to His dear hand and He will lead you safely through all things and, when you cannot stand, He will bear you in His arms. Do not look forward to what may happen tomorrow. Our Father will either shield you from suffering, or He will give you strength to bear it.”
St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor of the Church
One Minute Reflection – 17 October – “Month of the Most Holy Rosary” – Readings: Romans 4: 13, 16-18; Psalm 105: 6-9, 42-43; Luke 12: 8-12
“…Do not be anxious how or what you are to answer or what you are to say; for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say – Luke 12:11-12
REFLECTION – “The Christian should not fear or be distressed in difficult circumstances and thus be distracted from trust in God. He should take courage as if the Lord were at hand directing his affairs and strengthening him against all his adversaries.
It is as if the Holy Spirit were instructing him, even as to the very replies he should make to his enemies.”… St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor of the Church (The Morals, 63)”
PRAYER – All-powerful, eternal God, grant us the grace of Your Spirit and fill us with the light of understanding and love. Grant that by the prayers of your Saints we may be strengthened and depend only on You. Holy Queen of the Holy Rosary, our Mother Mary and St Hedwig, pray for us. We make our prayer through Jesus, our Lord with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.
Saint of the Day – 16 October – St Hedwig of Andechs (1174-1243) Mother, Widow, High Duchess of Poland, Apostles of orphans, the poor, the sick, founder with her husband of Monasteries, schools and Churches, Administrator, peace-maker, Born in 1174 in Castle Andechs, Bavaria (part of modern Germany) and died on 15 October 1243 at at Trzebnica, Silesia (part of modern Poland). Also known as – Hedwig of Silesia, Hedwig von Andechs, Jadwiga Slaska, Hedvigis, Hedwiges, Avoice.Patronages – against jealousy, brides, duchesses, death of children, difficult marriages, widows, Silesia, Diocese of Görlitz, Germany, Andechs Abbey, Bavaria, Germany, 6 cities. She was Canonised on 26 March 1267 by Pope Clement IV.
An example of all virtues, especially worthy to be imitated, is presented to us today, in the life of St Hedwig. Her father was Berthold, Duke of Carinthia and Count of Meran. Her mother, Agnes, was of equally high birth. She was one of eight children – of her four brothers, two became Bishops, Ekbert of Bamberg and Berthold of Aquileia. Mechtilde became Abbess of Kitzingen and another sister, became the mother of St Elizabeth of Hungary. Already in Hedwig’s childhood it was visible that God had gifted her with a mind far beyond her age. She possessed an innate inclination to all virtues and nothing of what usually delights the young, touched her heart, just as little pleasure did she evince, in later years, in the honours, riches and amusements of the world. Reading and praying were her only enjoyments. All her books were devout works and her prayers were said mostly before an image of the Blessed Virgin, whom she loved and honoured like a worldly mother.
When scarcely twelve years old, she was given in marriage to Henry, Duke of Poland and Silesia. Although married so early in life, her conduct was so sensible and virtuous, that everyone was greatly astonished at it. Among her maxims was this: “The greater one is by birth, the greater one must be in virtue and the more distinguished we are in station, the more we must distinguish ourselves by our conduct, in order to be a bright example to others.” She became the mother of three sons and three daughters, all of whom she educated most piously.
She was a little over twenty, and her husband thirty years of age, when their sixth child was born; after which, desiring to serve God more perfectly, she made a vow before the Bishop, in which her husband joined, to live in future in perpetual continence.
From that hour, Hedwig grew daily more and more perfect in all Christian virtues, occupying every moment left her from the cares she bestowed upon her children, in prayers and deeds of charity. She found especial comfort in assisting at Holy Mass; hence, she was not satisfied with one but went to as many as she could; and the manner in which she conducted herself in Church was a proof of her deep devotion. Towards widows and orphans, her kindness was truly motherly and many of them she fed in her palace, serving them herself, sometimes on bended knees. She frequently visited the sick in the hospitals; encouraged them to be patient and assisted them by rich alms. She never hesitated to wash the feet of the lepers, or to kiss the sores of the sufferers. She persuaded the Duke, her husband, to build a large convent not far from Breslau, for the Cistercian nuns, which she made a home for poor children, who were educated there and afterwards, provided for according to their station. Nothing could be more modest and plain than the garments of the holy Duchess and her example in this respect induced others living at Court to attire themselves with great simplicity. In the midst of the dissipation of the Court, the Saint lived so austere a life, that it was more to be admired than to be followed.
To prove her virtue, God visited her with a great many cares and sorrows. The enemy invaded the dominions of her spouse, who was wounded in a battle and made prisoner. When this news was brought to her, she raised her eyes confidently to heaven, saying: “I hope to see him again soon, well and free.” She herself went to Conrad, the Duke who had imprisoned her husband and spoke so earnestly to him that he restored her husband to liberty. Soon after, Henry became dangerously ill and Hedwig nursing him most faithfully, did everything to make his death happy. To those who pitied her after his death, she said: “We must adore the decrees of the Almighty, not only in days of happiness but also in those of sorrow and bereavement.” Three years later, she lost her first-born son, who was killed in a battle with the Tartars and this sad event found her as submissive to the will of Providence as she had been on the death of her husband.
Soon after the burial of the Duke in 1238, at the Cistercian Monastery of Nuns, Trzebnica Abbey, Hedwig had too followed him into the Convent, which, at her request, he had founded, to be further removed from all temporal vanity and to serve the Lord more peacefully and perfectly. The widow moved into the Convent of Cistercian Nuns which was led by her daughter Gertrude, assuming the position of a lay sister and donning the habit. She observed most strictly the regulations of the Order, desiring to do the meanest work and to be considered the least of the Sisters. In her austerity to herself she had now full liberty. She fasted daily, except on Sundays and festivals but her fasts were much more rigorous than those of others, for she abstained from all meat and wine and partook only of herbs, bread and water. She wore, day and night, rough hair-cloth and an iron girdle which she had already worn while at Court. She went bare-footed over snow and ice and slept, when well, on the bare boards and when ill, on straw covered with a coarse cloth. Her sleep lasted hardly three hours before Matins; the remainder of the night she occupied in prayer, which she only interrupted to scourge herself to blood. So severe a life emaciated her body to a skeleton. While working, she always raised her soul to the Most High by mental prayer,and she was often found in an ecstasy, or raised high above the ground. Her conversation was only of God, virtue and piety. Towards the Crrucified Saviour, she bore the deepest devotion and the mysteries of His bitter Passion and Death were the objects of her daily meditations, during which, she frequently shed tears. Mary, the Blessed Virgin, was most ardently loved by her,and her whole countenance glowed at the bare mention of her holy name.
So holy a life could only be followed by a happy death, of which a severe sickness was the messenger. Before others became aware that her life was in danger, the Saint asked for the last Sacraments and she received them with a devotion which drew tears from the eyes of all who were present. Before her end, S. Catherine of Alexandria, St Thecla, St Ursula and St Magdalen appeared to her, all of whom she had greatly honoured during her life. These heavenly visitors comforted her and accompanied her to the mansions of everlasting bliss.
Twenty-five years after her death, her holy body was exhumed, as so many extraordinary miracles had taken place at her intercession. On opening the coffin, the whole Church was filled with fragrance. The flesh of the whole body was consumed, except that of three fingers on her left hand. With these she had frequently held a picture of the Blessed Virgin, which she constantly carried with her. While dying, she held this picture so fast, that after her death it could not be removed and it was buried with her. Pope Clement IV. placed the Duchess among the Saints on account of her many great virtues, of the miracles which she had wrought while she lived and of those which took place after her death, through her intercession. The inhabitants of Poland venerate her as one of their special Patrons. (By Father Francis Xavier Weninger, 1876)
Dedication of the Church of Our Lady of Milan (1417) by Pope Martin V – 16 October:
The Abbot Orsini wrote: “Dedication of Our Lady of Milan, by Pope Martin V, in the year 1417. This Church was built in 1388 by John Galleas, Duke of Milan.”
The magnificent Milan Cathedral is a Gothic Cathedral that has its roots in the fourth centurY. Today it is one of the most famous and celebrated structures in all of Europe. It is the second largest Church in Italy after St Peter’s Basilica in Rome and the third largest Catholic Church in the world.
Dedicated to the Mother of God, the present Cathedral was begun in the 14th century but was not completed until the 20th century when the last gate was finally installed in 1965. Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte himself ordered that the façade be finished in the year 1805, as he desired to see the beautiful structure completed. He guaranteed that the French would pay for the work, although they never actually did. Even so, it took seven years to complete the work. There were other additions that followed, including stained glass windows and various arches and lace-like spires. In the end it can be said, that the Cathedral required 6 centuries to complete and is one of the largest Cathedrals in the entire world.
The Madonnina Spire or guglia del tiburio (“lantern spire“), one of the main features of the Cathedral, was erected in 1762 at the height of 108.5 m (356 ft), as designed by Francesco Croce. At the top of the spire is the polychrome Madonnina Statue, designed and built by Carlo Pellicani in 1774, during the episcopacy of Bishop Giuseppe Pozzobonelli who supported the idea to place the Madonnina at the top of the Cathedral, By tradition, no building in Milan may be higher than the Madonnina.
The first Church thought to occupy the location was built by Saint Ambrose, although there is an old baptistery which was constructed in about 335. The good Abbot appears to have been incorrect in dating the Cathedral from 1388, as there is a plate attached to a stone on the Church which states: “El Principio del Duomo di Milano Nel Anno 1386.”
The Milan Cathedral houses a Holy Nail which was used to Crucify Christ. It is marked by a tiny red light located in the dome above the apse. There are more Statues on this Cathedral than any other in the world, 3159 in total. 2245 of these are on the exterior together with 96 gargoyles and 135 spires. It is said that if the Statues were placed on top of each other, they would reach a height of about 5,300 meters (3.3 miles).
The Cathedral is 158.5 meters (520 feet) long, 92 meters (302 feet) wide. It has a cruciform plan in the form of a Latin cross that covers nearly 12,000 square meters. 40,000 people can fit comfortably within. Its construction was up five naves, a central and two lateral on each side, resting on 40 columns of 24.50 meters (80 feet) each.
Access to the Cathedral is made through five large bronze doors from Piazza Duomo. The central one [pic. below] is the oldest and was created in the nineteenth century by Ludovico Pogliaghi.
After exploring the inside, visitors can pay a small fee to take a fascinating trip to the Duomo’s roof via steps or elevator. It is an amazing experience to walk among the forest of spires and the view from the roof is unmatched. On a clear day you can see as far as the Alps and Apennines.
St Amandus of Limoges St Ambrose of Cahors Bl Anicet Koplinski Bl Augustine Thevarparampil St Balderic St Baldwin St Bertrand of Comminges St Bolonia St Conogon of Quimper St Dulcidius of Agen St Eliphius of Toul St Eremberta of Wierre St Florentinus of Trier
St Martinian of Mauretania St Mummolinus St Saturian of Mauretania St Silvanus of Ahun St Victor of Cologne St Vitalis of Noirmoutier — Martyrs in Africa – 220 saints: A group of 220 Christians martyrs about whom we know nothing but that they died for their faith.
Martyrs of North Africa – 365 saints: A group of 365 Christians who were martyred together in the persecutions of the Vandal king Genseric. The only details that have survived are the names of two of the martyrs – Nereus and Saturninus. 450 in North Africa.