Thought for the Day – 19 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Month of the Holy Rosary” The “Our Father”
“Our Father, Who art in heaven.” Heaven is God Himself, Who reveals Himself to the souls of the blessed. If a man lives in God, his mind and heart are already in Heaven, even though he is still an exile upon this earth. It is a wonderful experience to lead a bodily existence upon earth, while our minds are with God in Heaven, for, as St Paul says, “our citizenship is in heaven” (Phil 3:20). As we are aware, God is everywhere, in Heaven and on earth. When we invoke our Father, Who is in Heaven, however, we manifest our faith in Him and in His generosity, whereby, He reveals Himself in all His glory to the blessed and shows His mercy to us poor exiles, when we come to Him. In the first words of the Pater Noster, we express, not only our faith but, also our hope of being happy with God for all eternity.”
One Minute Reflection – 19 October – “Month of the Most Holy Rosary” – Readings: Romans 5: 12, 15b, 17-19, 20b-21; Psalm 40: 7-10, 17; Luke 12: 35-38
“Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and knocks.” – Luke 12:35-36
REFLECTION – “God, the Word, stirs up the lazy and arouses the sleeper. For indeed, someone who comes knocking at the door is always wanting to come in. But it depends on us if He does not always enter or always remain. May your door be open to Him who comes – open your soul, enlarge your spiritual capacities, that you may discover the riches of simplicity, the treasures of peace and sweetness of grace. Expand your heart, run to meet the Sun of that Eternal Light that “enlightens everyone” (Jn 1,9). It is certain that this true Light shines for all but, if anyone shuts their windows, then they themselves shut themselves off from this Eternal Light.
So even Christ remains outside, if you shut the door of your soul. It is true that He could enter but He doesn’t want to use force, He doesn’t put those who refuse under pressure. Descended from the Virgin, born from her womb, He shines throughout the universe to give light to all. Those who long to receive the light, that shines with an everlasting brightness, open up to Him. No night comes to intervene. Indeed, the sun we see each day gives way to night’s darkness but the Sun of Justice (Mal 3,20) knows no setting for Wisdom is not overcome by evil.” – St Ambrose (340-397) Bishop of Milan and Father and Doctor of the Church (12th Sermon on Psalm 118)
PRAYER – All-powerful, eternal God and Father, grant us the grace of Your Spirit and fill us with the light of understanding and love. May we learn to truly pray and by our prayers to entreat You to bless us in Your goodness and lead us to true faith in Your eternal light and Word sent to redeem us. May we always be waiting and prepared to open the door of our hearts to Jesus Christ our Lord, who comes in light, love and peace. Grant that by the prayers of all Your Angels and Saints, we may be strengthened. Holy Mother, be our protection and our guide. We make our prayer through Jesus Christ, our Lord with the Holy Spirit, God now and forever, amen.
Prayer for the Gift of Prayer By St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) Most Zealous Doctor of the Church
O Incarnate Word, You have given Your Blood and Your Life to confer on our prayers that power by which, according to Your promise, they obtain for us all that we ask. And we, O God, are so careless of our salvation, that we will not even ask You for the graces that we must have, if we should be saved! In prayer You have given us the key of all Your Divine treasures and we, rather than pray, choose to remain in our misery. Alas! O Lord, enlighten us, and make us know the value of prayers, offered in Your name and by Your merits, in the eyes of Your Eternal Father. Amen
Saint of the Day – 19 October – Saint Philip Howard (1557–1595) Martyr, Married Layman, Father, Convert, 13th Earl of Arundel, Born on 28 June 1557 at Norfolk, England and died on 19 October 1595 of malnutrition after eleven years in the Tower of London, London, England. Patronages – Arundel and Brighton, England, Diocese of, victims of betrayal, difficult marriages, falsely accused people, separated spouses. Additional Memorial – 25 October as one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales.
St Philip, born on 28 June 1557, was 13th Earl of Arundel. His father Thomas, IV Duke of Norfolk, was beheaded by Queen Elizabeth in 1572 for involvement in the affair of Mary, Queen of Scots. Philip Howard, Baptised by the Archbishop of York in the Chapel of Whitehall Palace, had Philip of Spain as one of his Godfathers.
Philip married Anne, daughter of Lord Dacre of Gilsland, when he was fourteen. He graduated at St John’s College, Cambridge in 1574 and was about eighteen when he attended Queen Elizabeth’s Court. Handsome, high-born, quick-witted and articulate, he neglected his wife and God.
A London event in 1581 proved to be life altering for Philip. A debate took place: on one side was a group of Protestant scholars. On the other, was [St] Father Edmund Campion, a Jesuit Priest, physically weak from torture on the notoriously grisly rack but still mentally sharp and another English Priest, [St.] Father Ralph Sherwin. With no opportunity to prepare, they defended the Faith persuasively, which greatly impressed young Philip. These humble suffering Confessors awakened Philip’s soul and he returned to Arundel to think about reconciliation with the Catholic Church, which he knew meant death. Sadly, both Campion and Sherwin were martyred by the British throne before the end of 1581. Philip reformed his life. Not only did he reconcile with his wife, Anne, he became quite dedicated to her. In 1584, he was received into the Catholic Church and became devoted to the practice of the Faith, although it was necessary for him to keep this quiet. Philip and Anne were suspected of sheltering persecuted Jesuit Priests in their home. The change in Philip was noted by the Queen and he sensed that he was in danger.
In 1585 he made a plan to escape from his London home to Belgium with his family and his brother. He sent a long letter of explanation to the Queen and the group set out from Littlehampton on the south coast of England. Before they could reach their destination, he was arrested at sea and returned to London. Philip was convicted of treason for being a Roman Catholic and for leaving England without permission. He was fined £10,000 and imprisoned in the Tower of London in April of 1585. Three years later, he was accused again of treason because he allegedly prayed in prison for the success of the Spanish Armada. This mid-1588 Spanish naval effort to remove Queen Elizabeth from the British throne and re-establish Catholicism, was unsuccessful. Interestingly, King Philip II of Spain was Philip Howard’s Godfather at his infant Baptism as well as his namesake. Philip was tried in April of 1589 and as was usually the case at the time, with accused Catholics, the extremely biased outcome was a sentence of execution. The execution required the Queen’s signature but she never signed it. Since Philip did not know this, he was left in prison thinking that his death was imminent. Instead, he was left to die in prison after having been placed there at age twenty-eight. He was allowed study and devotional books and spent his time in prayer, study and penance. He prayed ardently to be able to see his wife and children again; the youngest, his only son, was born after his incarceration. His trial and imprisonment were totally at Queen Elizabeth’s pleasure–the only treason he had committed was being reconciled to the Catholic Church.
One of the Priests who had been sheltered by the Howards was [St] Robert Southwell, who was also being held in the Tower. Philip’s pet dog served as a go-between for the men, who supported and encouraged each other with messages. By the autumn of 1595, he was dying and made one last plea to the Queen to be able to see his wife and children. Her reply was that if he would just attend one Protestant service, he would see his family and regain the Queen’s favour. “Good Queen Bess” indeed! He refused, and died alone on 19 October 1595 at age thirty-eight. He is believed to have contracted dysentery and suffering from malnutrition but some suspected that he was poisoned. He was 39 years old and had spent the last eleven years of his life in the Tower of London. He was buried in the Tower Church with his father and grandfather. Anne, who continued to protect and provide for renegade Priests, obtained permission in 1624 to transfer his remains to Arundel Castle.
Written on the step before the Shrine is this inscription: ‘The more affliction we endure for Christ in this world, the more glory we shall obtain with Christ in the next‘. This is a translation of the original Latin cut by St Philip over the fireplace in the Beauchamp Tower, which visitors to the Tower of London can still see: Quanto plus afflictionis pro Christo in hoc saeculo, tanto plus gloriae cum Christo in futuro. Arundell – 22 June 1587.
The Cathedral of Arundell and Brighton is named for St Philip Howard. It had been named for St Philip Neri before the Canonisation of today’s Saint in 1970.
Virgen del Camino / Our Lady of the Way, Valverde de la Virgen, León, Castile and León, Spain (1505) – 19 October:
On 2 July 1505, while watching his sheep, Alvar Simón Fernández saw the Virgin, radiant with light and heard her say: “Go to the city and tell the Bishop to come to this place and install this image my Son wishes to appear here, for the good of this land.” The shepherd answered, “Señora, how will they believe it was you who sent me?” She asked for his slingshot and with it launched a small stone, saying, “When the Bishop sees this stone it will be so large that he will know I have sent you and where you find the stone, is where my Son and I want you to put the image.”
The miraculously-located Shrine was outside the City of León on the Camino de Santiago, the pilgrim road to Compostela, hence the title Virgin of the Way The Virgen del Camino was declared Patron of the León region in 1914. The Statue is a 84 centimetre wooden Pietà, which the Basilica’s website dates to 1514. Its coronation, which Pope Benedict XI authorised in 1917, was carried out on 19 October 1930. The large, modern Sanctuary was completed in 1961 and houses the Statue. The Virgin of the Way is honoured today and on 15 September, the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows.
St Paul of the Cross CP (1604-1775) Priest, Mystic, Preacher, endowed with miraculous powers of healing and prophecy, Founder of the Congregation of the Passion of Jesus Christ known as the Passionists. Canonised on 29 June 1867 by Blessed Pope Pius IX who placed his Feast on 28 April. It was moved in 1969. So great was his eloquence when he spoke of the Passion that both he and his hearers would shed tears and the most hardened hearts were moved to repentance. (Optional Memorial) About St Paul here: https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/10/19/saint-of-the-day-st-paul-of-the-cross-1604-1775/
Bl Agnes of Jesus St Altinus St Aquilinus of Evreux St Asterius of Ostia St Beronicus of Antioch St Desiderius of Longoret St Ednoth St Ethbin St Eusterius of Salerno St Frideswide
St Varus of Kemet St Verano of Cavaillon — Martyred in the Spanish Civil War: 18 Beati • Blessed Antonio Elizalde Garvisu • Blessed Constantino Miguel Moncalvillo • Blessed Dionisio Arizaleta Salvador • Blessed Emiliano Pascual Abad • Blessed Eusebio de Las Heras Izquierdo • Blessed Ferran Castán Messeguer • Blessed Francesc Solá Peix • Blessed Francisco Marco Martínez • Blessed Francisco Milagro Mesa • Blessed Francisco Simón Pérez • Blessed Josep Ferrer Escolà • Blessed Josep Ribé Coma • Blessed Julio Leache Labiano • Blessed Juan Senosiaín Zugasti • Blessed Manuel Font y Font • Blessed Narcís Simón Sala • Blessed Nicolas Campo Giménez • Blessed Pere Vives Coll