Thought for the Day – 25 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Month of the Holy Rosary” “Lead Us Not Into Temptation”
“Life is a prolonged trial. St Paul compares it to a stadium in which everyone must fight to win. If anyone lays down his arms, he will be unable to conquer his passions or to achieve the palm of victory. “One who enters a contest, is not crowned, unless he has competed according to the rules ” (2 Tim 2:5).
With the exception of the Blessed Virgin, every human being is obliged to battle against the temptations of the flesh. Sometimes, these can be quite terrifying. St Paul himself confessed that he felt another law in his members, warning against the law of his mind. “Unhappy man that I am!” he exdclaimed in supplication to God to come to his assistance. “Who will deliver me from the body of this death?” (Rom 7:24).
The false enchantment and the wickedness of the world, also threatens to ensnare us. “We know that we are of God and the whole world is in the power of the evil one” (1 Jn 5:19). It is easy to become absorbed in worldly affairs and to forget the all-important spiritual realities.
Finally, there is the devil, whom St Peter describes as wandering about “seeking someone to devour.” Resist him, he urges us, “steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same suffering befalls your brethren all over the world ” (Cf 1 Peter 5:9).
Faced as we are, with these three foes, we should implore God to help us by His grace. Lead us not into temptation, O God but help us to conquer these enemies. Without You, we can do nothing but with Your aid, all is possible. Lead us not into temptation!”
Quote/s of the Day – 25 October – The Memorial of St Gaudentius of Brescia (Died 410) Bishop
Excerpt from a Homily by St Gaudentius
“The heavenly Sacrifice, instituted by Christ, is the most gracious legacy of His new Covenant. On the night He was delivered up to be Crucified, He left us this gift as a pledge of His abiding Presence.
This Sacrifice is our sustenance on life’s journey; by it we are nourished and supported along the road of life, until we depart from this world and make our way to the Lord. For this reason He addressed these words to us: “Unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you will not have life in you” [John 6:53].
It was the Lord’s will that His gifts should remain with us and, that we, who have been redeemed by His Precious Blood, should constantly be sanctified according to the pattern of His own Passion.
And so, He commanded those faithful disciples of His, whom He made the first Priests of His Church, to enact these Mysteries of eternal life continuously. All Priests, throughout the Churches of the world, must celebrate these Mysteries until Christ comes again from Heaven.
Therefore, let us all, Priests and people alike, be faithful to this everlasting memorial of our Redemption. Daily it is before our eyes as a representation of the Passion of Christ. We hold it in our hands, we receive it in our mouths and we accept it in our hearts.
It is appropriate that we should receive the Body of Christ in the form of bread because, as there are many grains of wheat in the flour from which bread is made, by mixing it with water and baking it with fire, so also, we know that many members make up the One Body of Christ, which is brought to maturity by the fire of the Holy Spirit.
Christ was born of the Holy Spirit and, since it was fitting that He should fulfill all justice, He entered into the waters of baptism to sanctify them. When He left the Jordan He was filled with the Holy Spirit who had descended upon Him in the form of a dove. As the Evangelist tells us: Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan.
Similarly, the wine of Christ’s Blood, drawn from the many grapes of the vineyard that He had planted, is extracted in the wine-press of the Cross. When men receive it with believing hearts, like capacious wine skins, it ferments within them by its own power.
And so, now that you have escaped from the power of Egypt and of Pharaoh, who is the devil, join with us, all of you, in receiving this Sacrifice of the saving Passover with the eagerness of dedicated hearts. Then, in our inmost being, we shall be wholly sanctified by the very Lord Jesus Christ, Whom we believe to be present in His Sacraments and Whose boundless Power abides forever. ”Amen!
“This is the Flesh of the Lamb; this is His Blood.”
One Minute Reflection – 25 October – “Month of the Holy Rosary” – Readings: Romans 8: 12-17; Psalm 68: 2, 4, 6-7ab, 20-21; Luke 13: 10-17
“But the leader of the synagogue, indignant that Jesus had cured on the sabbath, said to the crowd in reply, “There are six days when work should be done. Come on those days to be cured, not on the sabbath day.” – Luke 13:14
REFLECTION – “The whole human race, like this woman, was bent over and bowed down to the ground. Someone already understands these enemies. He cries out against them and says to God, “They have bowed my soul down.”The devil and his angels have bowed the souls of men and women down to the ground. He has bent them forward to be intent on temporary and earthly things and has stopped them from seeking the things that are above.
Since that is what the Lord says about the woman whom Satan had bound for eighteen years, it was now time for her to be released from her bondage on the sabbath day. Quite unjustly, they criticised Him for straightening her up. Who were these, except people bent over themselves? Since they quite failed to understand the very things God had commanded, they regarded them with earthbound hearts. They used to celebrate the sacrament of the sabbath in a literal, material manner and did not notice it’s spiritual meaning.” – St Augustine (354-430) Father, Doctor of Grace (Sermon 162)
PRAYER – Come to help us in our weakness, God of mercy, forgive the sins of Your people and as nothing we can do is worthy in Your sight, save us through the intercession of the Mother of our Lord, Jesus Christ. May the prayers of all your saints be offered to You on our behalf. We make our prayer through Jesus with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.
May the Heart of Jesus be the King of My Heart! By St 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 – 25 October – St Gaudentius of Brescia (Died 410) Bishop , renowned Preacher, Theologian, Diplomatic Mediator, Born in Brescia, Italy and died there in 410 of natural causes.
The Roman Martyrology states today: “In Brescia, Saint Gaudentius, Bishop, who, Ordained by Saint Ambrose, shone among the prelates of his time for doctrine and virtue, instructed his people with words and writings and founded a Basilica which he called the ‘Council of Saints.‘”
Gaudentius was the eighth Bishop of Brescia, the City where he was born. We know something about his life from his ten Sermons, sent to a worthy fellow citizen, a Brescian nobleman named Benivolus, who, because he was ill, could not attend Mass to listen to him. Gaudemnzio, for his humility, thought he carried out his ministry solely through preaching. His homilies were copied and disseminated because they were requested by the faithful. When he was elected Bishop, by popular acclaim and with the approval of St Ambrose, he was on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. The Brescians then sent a delegation to Palestine to get him back as soon as possible.
He enjoyed a reputation of great holiness and for this reason ,he had the esteem of the great religious and civil personalities of his time.
Born at Brescia, Italy, about the middle of the 4th century, Gaudentius was educated under St Philastrius, Bishop of Brescia, whom he termed his “father.” After earning a reputation for sanctity, he travelled to the East where he gained even more fame. In his absence, he was elected Bishop by the people on the death of St Philastrius, although he felt unworthy to receive such an honour, he was influenced to accept it by the Eastern Bishops and in 387 he was consecrated by St Ambrose.
Gaudentius was a powerful preacher and ten of his Sermons have survived, offering ample testimony to this fact, as well as twenty-one tractates and several pastoral and private letters survive. He governed his See with prudence and humility, inspiring his flock to imitate the Divine Master .
In 405, the Saint was sent with two others by Pope Innocent I to the East to defend St. John Chrysostom before Arcadius. However, the party was prevented from reaching Arcadius and never formally interceded for John – the three men were shipped back home on a vessel so unseaworthy that it almost sank and had to be left at Lampsacus. Subsequently, St. John wrote a letter of thanks to St Gaudentius for his efforts, even though they had not borne fruit. This saintly man died in 410 and was called by Rufinus: “the glory of the Doctors of the age in which he lived.”
Virgen Blanca – The Dedication of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Toledo, Spain and the White Virgin (Also known as the Smiling Madonna) (1085) – 25 October:
The Abbot Orsini wrote: “Dedication of Our Lady of Toledo, in Spain, about the year 1075, by Bernard, Archbishop of that City.”
The City of Toledo in Spain was not reconquered until 1085, when King Alfonso VI, King of Leon and Castile, took the City from the Moors. This was an important step in the Reconquista, as Toledo had once been the capital of Visigothic Spain. The City’s Cathedral had been desecrated and used as a mosque by the Moslem invaders of Spain but the people had the pleasure of seeing it blessed and consecrated in the year 1087. It was placed under the advocacy of the Blessed Virgin Mary, as King Alfonso wrote:
“I, Alfonso, Emperor of all Spain by God’s Providence, convened with the Bishops, namely, that for these ten will I preserve the papal honour of Saint Mary of the City of Toledo, which was formerly the See…”
In 1225 a new Cathedral was begun to replace the older one, for which King Fernando III drew up the plans and laid the cornerstone. Fernando’s good friend, the Archbishop Rodrigo Ximenez de Rada, worked very enthusiastically for the completion of the new Cathedral where he was Bishop. There are so many masterpieces of art and beautiful Shrines in the City of Toledo, Spain, that a visitor may easily miss the White Virgin. She stands atop an Altar in the choir of Toledo’s magnificent Cathedral. It is said that you can live to be 100 years old, visit this wonderful Cathedral once a week for all of your life and still never finish discovering its glories!
The sacred image of Our Lady is a polychromed alabaster Statue of French origin from the twelfth century. Both Mother and Child are clothed in white, their garments bordered with jeweled gold. Their faces darkened by time, are framed with curly, strawberry-blond hair. The Statue has also been called the “Smiling Virgin of Toledo;” for the Child’s right hand caresses His Mother’s face, tickling her chin. She responds with a smile that gives this image its popular name. It is also called the “Virgin of Prima” and the “Virgen Blanca.” There is also another artifact worthy of special mention and that is the ten foot tall great Monstrance of Arfe. It is made of both silver and gold, inset with precious gems. It took nearly 8 years to construct and is done in a Gothic style that is truly a magnificent work of art.
St Alfons Arimany Ferrer St Bernard of Calvo St Canna verch Tewdr Marw St Chrysanthus
St Cyrinus of Rome St Daria St Dulcardus Bl Edmund Daniel St Fronto of Périgueux St Fructus of Segovia St Gaudentius of Brescia (Died 410) Bishop St George of Périgueux St Goeznoveus of Leon St Guesnoveus Bl Henry of Segusio St Hilary of Javols St Hilary of Mende St Hildemarca of Fecamp St Januarius of Sassari St Lucius of Rome St Lupus of Bayeux St Mark of Rome
Martyrs of Cruz Cubierta – 5 beati: A mother, Blessed María Teresa Ferragud Roig de Masiá and her four daughters, Blessed María Joaquina Masiá Ferragud, Blessed María Vicenta Masiá Ferragud, Blessed María Felicidad Masiá Ferragud and Blessed Josefa Ramona Masiá Ferragud, all nuns, who were Martyred in the Spanish Civil War, on 25 October 1936 in Cruz Cubierta, Alzira, Valencia, Spain. They were Beatified on 11 March 2001 by St Pope John Paul II.
Forty Martyrs of England and Wales – 40 saints: Following the dispute between the Pope and King Henry VIII in the 16th century, faith questions in the British Isles became entangled with political questions, with both often being settled by torture and murder of loyal Catholics. In 1970, the Vatican selected 40 martyrs, men and women, lay and religious, to represent the full group of perhaps 300 known to have died for their faith and allegiance to the Church between 1535 and 1679. They each have their own day of memorial, but are remembered as a group on 25 October.
• Alban Roe • Alexander Briant • Ambrose Edward Barlow • Anne Line • Augustine Webster • Cuthbert Mayne • David Lewis • Edmund Arrowsmith • Edmund Campion • Edmund Gennings • Eustace White • Henry Morse • Henry Walpole • John Almond • John Boste • John Houghton • John Jones • John Kemble • John Lloyd • John Pain • John Plesington • John Rigby • John Roberts • John Southworth • John Stone • John Wall • Luke Kirby • Margaret Clitherow • Margaret Ward • Nicholas Owen • Philip Evans • Philip Howard • Polydore Plasden • Ralph Sherwin • Richard Gwyn • Richard Reynolds • Robert Lawrence • Robert Southwell • Secular Clergy • Swithun Wells • Thomas Garnet.
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War: • Blessed Alfons Arimany Ferrer • Blessed Recaredo Centelles Abad