Thought for the Day – 8 November – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Advantages of Devotion to the Souls in Purgatory
“As Sacred Scripture says, it is a holy and wholesome thought, to pray for the dead (2 Mac 12:46). Besides being profitable to them, however, it is profitable to ourselves too. There are two reasons for this: (a) Devotion to the Faithful Departed reminds us, that even venial sin, carelessness and tepidity, will one day be punished with terrible severity. As a result, we are encouraged in our efforts to lead better lives; (b) In the second place, we all know, that the souls in Purgatory are holy and are already in the antechamber of Paradise, which they yearn to reach but from which they are kept far apart, by the imperfections which they have still to purify. If we can help them by our prayers to enter Heaven, even a little earlier than they had expected, they will certainly intercede for us with God at all times and, especially at the moment of death. In their gratitude, they will implore for us,. all the graces of which we stand in need. “Whatever we do for the departd souls,” says St Ambrose, “redounds to our own benefit; after death it will be restored to us with interest!”
While we are assisting our dear ones to ascend ,as soon as possible, into the everlasting happiness of Heaven, it is comforting to know, that one day, their patronage will enable us to join them there.”
Quote/s of the Day – 8 November – Readings: Wisdom 1: 1-7; Psalm 139: 1b-10; Luke 17: 1-6
“If your brother sins, rebuke him and if he repents, forgive him. And if he wrongs you seven times in one day and returns to you seven times saying, ‘I am sorry,’ you should forgive him.”
“Judge not and you will not be judged; condemn not and you will not be condemned; forgive and you will be forgiven; give and it will be given to you, good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For the measure you give, will be the measure you get back.“
“Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times but seventy times seven.”
“Gloriously has God slain enmity, in order to save us, may we never risk the life of our souls by being resentful or by bearing grudges.”
St Gregory of Nyssa (c 335–c 395) Father of the Church
(Excerpt from his treatise, On Christian Perfection)
“In conformity with the philosophy of Christ, let us make of our life, a training for death.”
“To harbour no envy, no anger, no resentment against an offender, is still not to have charity for him. It is possible, without any charity, to avoid rendering evil for evil. But, to render, spontaneously, good for evil – such belongs to a perfect spiritual love.”
St Maximus the Confessor (c 580-662) Father of the Church
“We must show love for those who do evil to us and pray for them. Nothing is dearer or more pleasing to God than this.”
One Minute Reflection – 8 November – “Pray for the Holy Souls in Purgatory” – Readings: Wisdom 1: 1-7; Psalm 139: 1b-10; Luke 17: 1-6
“If your brother sins, rebuke him and if he repents, forgive him. And if he wrongs you seven times in one day and returns to you seven times saying, ‘I am sorry,’ you should forgive him.” – Luke 17:3-4
REFLECTION – “O you who are hard-hearted, incapable of gentleness, learn of your Creator’s goodness and do not be bitter judges and arbitrators of your fellow servants, as you wait for the coming of Him, Who will disclose the hidden places of the heart and will Himself, the all-powerful Lord, determine each one’s place in the world to come. Do not assign severe judgements, that you may not be judged in the same way and rent by the words of your own mouth, as if by sharp teeth. For it is against this kind of crime that these words of the Gospel seem to warn us: “Do not judge and you will not be judged” (Lk 6:37). In saying this, He is not doing away with discernment and wisdom; what He is referring to, as judgement, is over-severe condemnation. As far as possible, then, lighten the weight of your measure if you do not want your actions to weigh too heavily on the scales, when our lives are weighed, as on a balance, at God’s Judgement! … Never refuse to show mercy that you may not be denied forgiveness when you are in need of it yourself.” – St Asterius of Amasea (c 350– c 410) Bishop (Sermon 13)
PRAYER – O Lord our God, grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console, to be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love and to be only good influences to our neighbour. May the prayers of the Blessed Virgin, all the Saints and Angels, ever intercede for the Church Militant and the Church Suffering, Amen.
Our Morning Offering – 8 November – Octave Day of All Saints
May I Be United With You, Good Jesus St Peter Canisius (1521-1597) Doctor of the Church
Let my eyes take their sleep but may my heart always keep watch for You. May Your right hand bless Your servants who love You. May I be united with the praise that flows from You, Lord Jesus, to all Your saints; united with the gratitude drawn from Your heart, good Jesus, that causes Your saints to thank You; united with Your passion, good Jesus, by which You took away our guilt; united with the divine longing which You had on earth, for our salvation; united with every prayer that welled from Your divine heart, good Jesus and flowed into the hearts of Your saints. Amen
Saint of the Day – 8 November – Saint Willehad of Bremen (Died 789) First Bishop of Bremen, Germany, Confessor, Benedictine Monk and Priest, a friend of Blessed Alcuin of York, disciple of St Boniface, Missionary. Born in the 8th Century in Northumbria, England and died in 789 in Bremen, Germany of natural causes. Patronage – Saxony. Also known as – Willihad.
The Roman Martyrology states: “At Bremen, St Willehad, first Bishop of that City, who, in conjunction with St Boniface, whose disciple he was, spread the Gospel in Friesland and Saxony.“
Willehad was born in Northumbria and probably received his education at York under Bishop Ecgbert. He was Ordained after his education, and about the year 766, he went to Frisia, to continue the missionary work of St Boniface who had been Martyred by the Frisians in 754. At an assembly in Paderborn in 777, Saxony was divided into missionary zones. The zone between the Weser and the Elbe, called Wigmodia, was given to Willehad.
From 780 Willehad preached in the region of the lower Weser River on commission from Charlemagne. He barely escaped with his life when the Frisians wanted to kill him and he returned to the area around Utrecht. Once again, he and his fellow missionaries barely escaped with their lives, when the local pagans wanted to kill them for destroying some temples. Finally, in 780, Charlemagne sent him to evangelise the Saxons. He preached to them for two years but, in 782, the Saxons under Widukind, rebelled against Charlemagne and Willehad was forced to flee to Frisia. He took the opportunity to travel to Rome, where he reported to Pope Adrian I on his work.
Upon his return from Rome, Willehad retired for a time to the Monastery of Echternach, in present-day Luxembourg. He spent two years there reassembling his missionary team.
After Charlemagne’s conquest of the Saxons, Willehad preached in the region around the lower Elbe and the lower Weser. In 787 Willehad was Consecrated Bishop and that part of Saxony and Friesland, near the mouth of the Weser, was assigned to him for his Diocese. He chose as his seat, the City of Bremen, which is mentioned for the first time in documents of 782 and built a Cathedral there. Praised for its beauty by Ansgar, it was dedicated in 789.
Willehad died in Blexen-upon-Weser, today a part of Nordenham. He is buried in the City’s Cathedral, which he Consecrated shortly before his death on 8 November 789. Bishop St Ansgar compiled a life of Willehad and the preface which he wrote was considered a masterpiece for that age. In 860, a sick girl from Wege travelled to his grave. There, she was cured by a miracle. This was the first time the small village was mentioned in any historical documents.
Notre-Dame de Bellefontaine / Our Lady of the Blessed Fountain, Bellefontaine, France (12th Century) – 8 November:
According to tradition it was sometime in the 13th century when a man, who was hunting near the Benedictine Abbey, severely injured his hand. The injury was so severe, that the man feared that he might lose his life from the loss of blood which would not cease. Having with him a bowl, he filled it with fresh water he found nearby and placed his hand in it as he prayed devotedly to the Blessed Virgin Mary for her intervention The man’s faith was rewarded, as the hunter looked at his hand to witness the wound miraculously close as if he had never been injured at all. In recognition of the miracle, he later returned to site, bringing with him, a Statue of the Blessed Virgin. When the news of the miracle became widely known. it attracted many pilgrims from all over Europe. Thus, starting in the 13th century, the Statue of the Virgin was venerated under the title of Notre-Dame-de-Bellefontaine. A small Chapel was also built around the Statue of the Virgin Mary. Shortly before the coming of the French Revolution, a Church was built, whose care was entrusted to a local hermit. The Statue of the Blessed Virgin miraculously escaped the revolutionary turmoil and the place remained a place of celebration for the faithful of the two neighbouring counties. The nearby Benedictine Abbey, which had been founded at the end of the eleventh century, was plundered and confiscated by the state during the Revolution and then sold in the year 1791. In 1794 some of the buildings were set ablaze and the rest of the Abbey left in ruins. Some of the property was purchased on 17 january 1817, by a Trappist Monk, Urban Guillet and it once again became a flourishing Monastery.
The pool from which the hunter obtained the water still exists and is now protected behind a metal grate. There is also a modern Statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary located in a grotto nearby, as the original Statue disappeared during the fighting and chaos of World War I. Its current whereabouts is unknown.
St Adeodatus I, Pope St Clair of Tours St Cybi of Caenarvon St Drouet
St Gregory of Einsiedeln St John Baptist Con Bl Maria Crucified Satellico St Martinô Tho St Martinô Ta Ðuc Thinh St Maurus of Verdun St Moroc of Scotland St Phaolô Nguyen Ngân St Tysilio of Wales St Willehad of Bremen (Died 789) Bishop Confessor St Wiomad of Trèves — All Deceased Dominicans
All Saints of the Diocese of Evry: A regional memorial of all the saints and beati of the calendar who have a connection to the Diocese of Evry-Corbeil-Essonnes, France. • Blessed Isabella of France, founded the Longchamp monastery • Blessed Nicolas Gaudreau, pastor of Vert-le-Petit • Blessed Pierre Bonse, pastor of Massy • Our Lady of Good Guard, patron saint of the diocese, venerated in Longpont-sur-Orge, France • Saint Corbinian, born in Saint-Germain-lès-Arpajon • Saint Denis of Paris, evangelizer of part of Essonne and revered ni Longpont-sur-Orge • Saint Eloi, who lived in Chilly-Mazarin • Saint Germain of Paris • Saint William of Bourges, son of Count Baldwin IV of Corbeil • Saint William of Aebelholt, pastor of Brunoy • Saint Wulfran of Sens, born in Milly-la-Forêt • Blessed Nativelle, vicar of Longjumeau • Blessed René Le Bris, pastor of Bris-sous-Forges • Saint Spire of Bayeux, whose relics are in Corbeil in the cathedral that bears his name All Saints of Wales
Augustinian Martyrs of Spain
Four Crowned Martyrs: Saint Castorus, Saint Claudius, Saint Nicostratus and Saint Simpronian. Skilled stone carvers in the 3rd century quarries. Martyred when they refused to carve an idol of Aesculapius for Diocletian. They were drowned in the River Sava in 305. Patronages – against fever, cattle, sculptors, stone masons, stonecutters.
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War • BlessedAntolín Pablos Villanueva • BlessedLaureano Pérez Carrascal • BlessedManuel Sanz Domínguez • BlessedMaximino Serrano Sáiz