Thought for the Day – 17 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Month of the Holy Rosary” The Fourth Glorious Mystery The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin into Heaven
“Because we are wretched sinners, death for us is a punishment. Let us accept it with resignation. We should frequently offer to God whatever death He has in store for us, with all its sorrows and sufferings.
We can gain great merit in this way. As a result of our daily offering, God will surely grant us a more peaceful death. There are many people who long for death. Some desire it in moments of discouragement as a release from the sorrows of life. Others long for it, to bring to an end their struggle against their sinful inclinations and to assure them of an everlasting reward, to gain which, they may not even have made many sacrifices. The first kind of desire is unworthy of a true soldier of Christ, while the second, is presumptuous and self-interested. The only legitimate yearning for death, is the desire to be united, at last, with Jesus.
This was the nature of Mary’s death, as well as that of St Paul, who wrote that he desired “to depart and to be with Christ” (Phil 1:23).”
Quote/s of the Day – 17 October – The Memorial of St Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690) “Apostle of the Sacred Heart”
“I think He intends to try you like gold in the crucible, so as to number you amongst His most faithful servants. Therefore, you must lovingly embrace all occasions of suffering, considering them as precious tokens of His love. To suffer in silence and without complaint, is what He asks of you.”
“Crosses, contempt, sorrows and afflictions, are the real treasures of the lovers of Jesus Christ Crucified.”
“Go courageously to God, along the way He has traced out for you, steadfastly embracing the means He offers you.”
St Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690) “Apostle of the Sacred Heart”
One Minute Reflection – 17 October – “Month of the Holy Rosary” – Readings: Isaiah 53: 10-11; Psalm 33: 4-5, 18-20, 22; Hebrews 4: 14-16; Mark 10: 35-45
“Whosoever will be first among you, shall be the servant of all.” – Mark 10:44
REFLECTION – “What need was there that the Son of God should suffer for us? There was great need and indeed, it can be assigned to two reasons. The first, is that it was a remedy against sin and the second, is for an example of what we should do. … For the Passion of Christ can bring about a complete reformation of our lives. … If you seek an example of charity, then “no-one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (Jn 15:13). … If you seek an example of patience, you will find it in its highest degree on the Cross. … Christ suffered greatly upon the Cross and with all patience because “when he was insulted, he returned no insult” (1 Pt 2:23), “like a lamb led to the slaughter, he opened not his mouth” (Is 53:7). … “Let us persevere in running the race that lies before us while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith. For the sake of the joy that lay before him, he endured the cross, despising its shame” (Heb 12:1-2).
If you seek an example of humility, look upon Him Who is Crucified, although He was God, He chose to be judged by Pontius Pilate and put to death. … If you seek an example of obedience, imitate Him Who was obedient to the Father “even to death” (Phil 2:8). “For just as through the disobedience of one person, Adam, the many were made sinners, so through the obedience of One the many will be made righteous” (Rom 5:19). . If you seek an example of contempt for earthly things, imitate Him Who is “King of kings and Lord of lords” (1 Tm 6:15), “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col 2:3). On the Cross He was stripped naked, ridiculed, spat upon, bruised, crowned with thorns, given to drink of vinegar and gall. – St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) Dominican Theologian, Doctor of the Church (On the Apostles’ Creed – Collationes In Symbolum apostolorum, art. 4 # 64.70.72-76; [trans. Joseph Collins])
PRAYER – Holy Father, grant me an operative faith, a faith that will move mountains. Enlighten my soul with Your Light, Goodness, Power and Wisdom. Let my faith be an image of You by lively deeds and love and by conforming myself to Your Will in all things. As the Blessed Virgin, Mother of Your only-begotten Son, longed only to serve the God of all in complete self-denial and humility, may we always strive to imitate her Fiat in serving You, with upright hearts and thus manifest a true faith, through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 17 October – Twenty First Sunday after Pentecost
Prayer before Holy Mass By St Ambrose (340-397) Father & Doctor of the Church
Lord Jesus Christ, We approach Your banquet table as saints and sinners and dare not rely on our own worth but only on Your goodness and mercy. Gracious God of majesty and awe, we seek Your protection, we look for Your healing. We appeal to You, the fountain of all mercy. Lord Jesus Christ, eternal King, Crucified for us, look upon us with mercy and hear our prayer, for we trust in You. Merciful Father, purify us in body and soul and make us worthy to taste the Holy of Holies. May Your Body and Blood, which we intend to receive, unworthy as we are, be for us the remission of our sins, the washing away of our guilt, the end of our evil thoughts and the rebirth of our better instincts. May it incite us to do the works pleasing to You and profitable to our health, in body and soul and may it deliver us from evil. Amen
Saint of the Day – 17 October – Blessed Contardo Ferrini TOSF (1859-1902) Layman, Third Order Franciscan, Profesor, Civil and Canon Lawyer, Apostle of the poor, writer, A recognised specialist in Roman and Byzantine law, Contardo Ferrini was a Professor at several Universities but his name is mainly linked to the University of Pavia , where he studied in 1880 and later became a Professor. He was also a fervent Roman Catholic, who lived a devout life of prayer and service to the poor. Born on 4 April 1859 at Milan, Italy and died on 17 October 1902 at Suna, Verbano-Cusio-Ossola, Italy of typhus, aged 43. Patronages – academics, colleges, schools, universities.
The Roman Martyrology mentions him today: “In Suna near Lake Maggiore, Blessed Contardo Ferrini, who, in educating young people, with his example of faith and Christian life, went far beyond human science.“
Contardo Ferrini was born on 5 April 1859 in Milan to Rinaldo Ferrini and Luigia Buccellati. He was Baptised at the font where Blessed Frédéric Ozanam, also a native of Milan, had been Baptised 46 years before. After receiving his First Holy Communion at age 12, he joined a Blessed Sacrament Confraternity.
Contardo’s father, a Professor of mathematics and science, taught his son at an early age. By the time he was a young man, he spoke several languages. His apparent love for his faith caused friends to call him by the nickname St. Aloysius (St. Aloysius Gonzaga). He entered University of Pavia at age 17 and, two years later, was appointed Dean of Students. At age 21 he became a Doctor of the law at the University. His doctoral thesis, which related penal law to Homeric poetry, was the basis of his being awarded a scholarship to the University in Berlin, where he specialised in Roman-Byzantine law, a field in which he became internationally acclaimed as expert.
During Contardo’s stay in Berlin, he wrote of his excitement at receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation for the first time in a foreign country. The experience brought home to him, he wrote, the universality of the Church.
Upon his return to Italy, he was a Lecturer in Universities at Messina, Modena and Pavia. He received his first Professorship at age 26. Contardo, atthis time, attempted to discern a vocation as a secular priest, a religious, or as a married person. Ultimately, he remained an unmarried layperson. He vowed himself to God, became a member of the Third Order of St. Francis in 1886 and was a member of the Saint Vincent de Paul Society, to which he had been introduced by his father, a member of a St Vincent de Paul Conference himself.
As a faculty member at the University of Pavia, he was considered an expert in Roman Law. Over the course of his career he published books, articles and reviews. He taught for a time at the University of Paris. He became a Canon Lawyer in addition to being a Civil Lawyer. Mountaineering was an favourite hobby.
An anecdote, unsourced, about Contardo is that he was asked to attend a dinner party and, once there, found it tedious. His resort was to invite all the guests to join him in praying the Rosary.
In 1900, Contardo developed a heart lesion. In Autumn 1902, he went to his country home in Suna in order to rest. There he became ill with typhus. He died at age 43 on 17 October 1902. Residents of Suna immediately declared him a saint. His fellow faculty members at the University of Pavia wrote letters in which he was described as a saint. In 1909 Pope Pius X appointed Cardinal Ferrari to open a cause. Contardo was declared Venerable by Pope Pius XI and he was Beatified by Pope Pius XII on 13 April 1947. His body is venerated in a Chapel of Milan’s Catholic University. He is a patron of universities, colleges and academics. Yesterday we read some of the history of Milan Duomo and the 3159 Saint Statues there. One of the 2245 Spire Saints, on one the lofty Spires of this breathtaking Cathedral, resides our Blessed Contardo.
Twenty First Sunday after Pentecost Twenty Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Könnyezo Szuz Mária / Our Lady of Tears or the Weeping Madonna (Sajópálfala, Miskolci, Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén, Hungary) (1717) – Third Sunday of October, 16 February:
During the Turkish occupation of the late 1600s, the town of Sajópálfala in northeastern Hungary was destroyed and deserted. Not long after Greek Catholics resettled the area. The painting of the Madonna and Child in their village Church perspired and wept bloody tears, from 6 January to 16 February 1717.
The investigating Bishop took the picture to Eger, where it stayed in the Franciscan Church until the Communists dissolved the religious orders in 1950. Then the painting was lost to the faithful of Sajópálfala, who had made an annual pilgrimage to Eger on the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows.
In 1969, they located the original weeping image in a Church in the Diocese of Pécs, where a friar had taken it when the Eger Monastery closed. On 25 October 1973, after 256 years, the Weeping Virgin Mary returned to the Church of the Visitation in Sajópálfala, where the main pilgrimage days are now Pentecost Sunday and the third Sunday in October.
Bl Gilbert the Theologian St Heron of Antioch Bl Jacques Burin St John the Short/Dwarf St Louthiern St Mamelta of Persia St Nothelm of Canterbury St Richard Gwyn St Rudolph of Gubbio St Rufus of Rome St Serafino of Montegranaro St Solina of Chartres St Zosimus of Rome — Martyrs of Nicomedia – 3 saints: A group of Christians martyred in the persecutions of Diocletian. The only details about them that have survived are their names – Alexander, Marianus and Victor. 303 in Nicomedia (in modern Turkey).
Martyrs of Valenciennes -5 beati: A group of Ursuline nuns martyred in the persecutions of the French Revolution. • Hyacinthe-Augustine-Gabrielle Bourla • Jeanne-Reine Prin • Louise-Joseph Vanot • Marie-Geneviève-Joseph Ducrez • Marie-Madeleine-Joseph Déjardins
Martyrs of Volitani: A group of martyrs who were praised by Saint Augustine of Hippo. In Volitani, proconsular Africa (in modern Tunisia).
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War: • BlessedFidel Fuidio Rodriguez • BlessedJosé Sánchez Medina • BlessedPerfecto Carrascosa Santos • BlessedTársila Córdoba Belda de Girona