Thought for the Day – 27 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Month of the Holy Rosary” “Holy Mary”
“The Angel’s greeting was later completed by the salavation of St Elizabeth. As soon as Elizabeth saw the Blessed Virgin coming to visit her, she cried out in humble veneratin: “Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb!” (Lk 1:42).
In the first part of the Hail Mary, then, we pay her the words of the Gospel, the highest tributes ever accorded to any human creature, proclaiming her to be full of grace, blessed among women and Mother of the Redeemer. The second part, which was later added by the Church, (composed and proposed by St Peter Canisius 1521-1597) Doctor of the Church), is a heartfelt supplication addressed to Mary as the Mother of God and our Mother. “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death, amen.” It would be hard to find a more touching plea. We ask our heavenly Mother to intercede for us now because we have such great need of her assistance in this vale of tears and temptations. May she be always by our side, to shelter us beneath her mantle!”
Quote/s of the Day – 27 October – Readings: Romans 8: 26-30; Psalm 13: 4-6; Luke 13: 22-30
“And people will come from the east and the west and from the north and the south …”
“It becomes no man to nurse despair but, in the teeth of clenched antagonisms, to follow up the Worthiest [One] till he die.”
St Alfred the Great (859-899) King
“A good man is not a perfect man; a good man is an honest man, faithful and unhesitatingly responsive to the Voice of God in his life.”
St John Fisher (1469-1535) Bishop, Martyr
“Just as speech has been given to men to be the interpreter of their feelings and desires, so it is through the conscience, that God teaches us, what He judges of everything and what He expects of each one of us. This divine Voice forms various interior words, to express various lessons and the different orders, that it pleases God to give to His creature. It is the bond of communication that the Lord desires to have with us and the most usual organ he makes use of, to touch our hearts and open to us His own.”
One Minute Reflection – 27 October – “Month of the Holy Rosary” – Readings: Romans 8: 26-30; Psalm 13: 4-6; Luke 13: 22-30 and the Memorial of Saint Elesbaan of Ethiopia (Died c 555) King of Ethiopia, Confessor
“And people will come from the east and the west and from the north and the south …” – Luke 13:29
REFLECTION – Those who approach God, leaning on Him with a desire to be saved, are saved indeed. For it is divine inspiration that enables them to conceive this desire for salvation and they come to knowledge of Truth enlightened by Him who calls them. They are indeed children of promise, the reward of faith, the spiritual descendants of Abraham, “a chosen race, a holy priesthood” (1 Pt 2:9), foreknown from long ago and predestined for eternal life. … Through the mediation of Isaiah, our Lord makes known His grace to us, to make new creatures of us all – “See, I am doing something new! Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? In the desert I make a way, in the wasteland, rivers …)for my chosen people to drink, the people whom I formed for myself that they might announce my praise” And elsewhere …) “To me every knee shall bend, by me every tongue shall swear” (Is 43:19 f; 45:23).
There is no question but that all this will come to pass because God’s foreknowledge never fails nor do His plans alter, His will is ever active and His promises cannot be mistaken. Therefore, all those to whom these words refer shall be saved. For He sets His laws in their consciences and with His finger He writes them in their hearts (Rom 2:15). They gain access to knowledge of God, not under the influence of human teaching but the guidance of the best of masters – “Therefore, neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything but only God, who causes the growth” (1 Cor 3:7). …It is given to them all to have a changed heart and just judgement together with an upright will. God brings fear to birth in these people so that they may be instructed in His commandments. … They rejoice in the power of His mercy and all the miracles He has done, for God has chosen them and made them His children, heirs of the new covenant (Jr 31:31).” – St Prosper of Aquitaine (Died c 460) Lay Theologian, Writer and disciple of St Augustine (he was the first continuer of St Jerome’s Universal Chronicle) – (The Summons to All People)
PRAYER – Shed Your clear light on our hearts, Lord, so that walking continually in the way of Your commandments, we may never be deceived or misled. Grant that the prayers of our Blessed Mother, who always holds Your Light up for others to see by, give us strength. Through Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 27 October – “Month of the Holy Rosary”
She, who stands at the Altar of the Eucharistic Sacrifice, without many of us today, will always be our help, most especially in these times of increasing persecution. Although deprived of the Sacraments, we will never be deprived of her Perpetual Succour.
Most Holy Virgin Mary, Help of Christian By St John Bosco (1815-1888)
Most Holy Virgin Mary, Help of Christians, how sweet it is to come to thy feet imploring thy perpetual help. If earthly mothers cease not to remember their children, how can thou, the most loving of all mothers, forget me? Grant then to me, I implore thee thy perpetual help in all my necessities, in every sorrow and especially in all my temptations. I ask for thy unceasing help for all who are now suffering. Help the weak, cure the sick, convert sinners. Grant through thy intercession, many vocations to the religious life. Obtain for us, O Mary, Help of Christians, that having invoked thee on earth we may love and eternally thank thee in Heaven. Amen
Saint of the Day – 27 October – Saint Elesbaan of Ethiopia (Died c 555) King of Ethiopia, Confessor, Penitent Hermit and Monk. Also known as – Elesbaan of Axum, Ella Atsbeha, Ella Asbeha, Calam-Negus, Calam, Caleb, Elesbaas, Elesbas, Elesboas, Eleuzoe, Hellestheaeus, Kaleb.
The Roman Martyrology states today: “St Elesbaan, King, who after having defeated the enemies of Christ and sent his Royal Diadem to Jerusalem, in the time of Emperor Justin, led a monastical life, as he had vowed and went to his reward.”
In the 6th century Ethiopia was ruled by King St Elesbaan, who was raised from childhood in the Catholic Faith. King Elesbaan ruled his country with wisdom and was esteemed by his people.
At that time, Ethiopia was part of the Eastern Roman Empire, under Justinian I. Across the Red Sea, Arabia had fallen to Dunaan, a King who apostatised from the Catholic Faith and adhered to Judaism. He was a despotic ruler, persecuting the Bishops and clergy and destroying the Churches or transforming them into synagogues. St Gregentius, Bishop of Tafas, was expelled from his Diocese; St Aretas, governor of Nagran and leader of the Catholic reaction, was beheaded along with his wife, children and 340 of his people. Around 4,000 Catholics were killed without trial after suffering many cruelties.
Emperor Justinian called on King Elesbaan to chastise the usurper. The King gathered his army and crossed the Red Sea to punish the affront to Catholic honour. Elesbaan landed in Arabia, defeated Dunaan and executed him. Then he restored St Gregentius to his episcopal see, rebuilt the Churches and remained in the country until Ebrahamos, who was Catholic, was elected King of the Arabs.
Once his mission of justice and peace was accomplished, he returned to Ethiopia and ruled there for some years more, carefully instructing his son in the Catholic Faith, making him heir of his zeal and piety and the direction of the Kingdom. Then he renounced his title and handed the rule of the Kingdom to his son.
Disguised as a Hermit, he retired to a Monastery in the mountains. There he lived as a simple religious dedicated to prayer, obedience and work. He carried nothing with him out of the Palace but a mat to lie on and a cup to drink from. His food was only bread, with which he sometimes took a few dry herbs; he never drank anything but water. He would not allow himself the least distinction above the least among his brethren and was the first in every duty of his new state.
No seculars ever had access to him and his whole employment consisted in the exercises of penance, the contemplation of heavenly things and conversing with God, by whom he was at length called, to a happy death, to reign eternally with Christ.
He died with a reputation of sanctity on 27 October c 555. Often he is pictured as a solitary Hermit holding a Cross and with a Crown at his feet.
Dedication of the Basilica of Auxilium Christianorum / Our Lady Help of Christians, Turin, Italy, built by St John Bosco (1868) – 27 October:
The vast and magnificent Basilica of Our Lady in Turin, Italy, built by Saint John Bosco (1815-1888) between 1863 and 1868, was inspired by a dream-vision which he had in October 1844. The Blessed Virgin showed Don Bosco a vast and lofty Church and said:
“This is my house; from it my glory shines forth. You will understand everything when, with your material eyes, you will see in actual fact, what you now see with the eyes of your mind.”
Nineteen years later, Don Bosco finally set to work on the Basilica of Our Lady Help of Christians. Our Lady, in a second vision, chose the location as that of the place of the Martyrdom of Saint Adventer Solutor and Saint Octavious, who were both soldiers under the Emperor Maximianus in the fourth century. When the foundation of the Church was laid, Don Bosco went to the contractor, Charles Buzzetti and told him:
“I want to pay you at once for this fine work. I don’t know if it will be much but this is all I have.”
He then took out his little purse and emptied the contents into the hand of the contractor, who was expecting a handful of gold coins. His jaw dropped in dismay when he saw in his hand only eight pennies.
“Do not be alarmed,” Don Bosco quickly added with a smile, “the Madonna will see to the payment of her Church. I am just the instrument, the cashier.” And to those standing by he concluded, “You will see!”
“The whole Church was put up by means of graces granted by Mary,” Don Bosco often said. One sixth of the cost, about one million lire in those days, was borne by the generous contributors, devout persons; the rest came from the small offering of those, who had been aided by Mary.
“Every stone, every ornament, represents one of her graces,” insisted Don Bosco. The original contractor, who received the eight cents, later testified that, “The Church was paid for to the last cent.”
Among the monuments of the Church, the most splendid is the painting above the main Altar. Our Blessed Lady Help of Christians occupies the central position and is surrounded by symbols – God the Father, the Holy Spirit, the Apostles and Evangelists. It measures more than 28 metres square and is bordered with gold.
There was much opposition to the project of building a Church dedicated to and in honour of Our Lady Help of Christians but Don Bosco insisted. It appears he had a supernatural knowledge, that the future of his own congregation and that of the whole world in the not too distant future, depended on the powerful protection of Mary, Help of Christians, just as it had needed and obtained that protection at Lepanto on 7 October 1571 and at Vienna, on 12 September 1683. Don Bosco, with the gracious assistance of the Blessed Virgin Moher, succeeded and the vast Church was Consecrated and dedicated on 9 June 1868 with the crowing on 27 October. The dedication festivities lasted nine days and on each day a Bishop preached while another took part in the ceremonies. By the turn of the nineteenth century, the Church of Our Lady Help of Christians in Turin had become famous and in 1911, Pope Saint Pius X gave it the crowning glory by raising it to the rank of a Basilica – The Basilica of Our Lady Help of Christians!