Thought for the Day –27 November – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Salvation of Souls
“We have only to look around us to realise the sad state of the greater part of human society. Men may be divided into three principal categories – the evil, the indifferent and the good. The evil are very numerous. The Holy Spirit tells us that the number of fools is infinite (Eccles 1:15). Now, the greatest and most real folly, is sin because, sin offends God, our supreme good, our Creator and Redeemer and because, it endangers the salvation of the soul. Nevertheless, countless sins are committed. There is an immense number of people who commit sin not merely through human frailty but who have abandoned God absolutely by denying or insulting Him and by striving to eradicate Him from the consciousness of their fellow-men. Their God is themselves!
The second group is that of the indifferent, those for whom God, religion and the supernatural are quite unimportant. They are content to lead materialistic lives without any thought of eternity. It is enough for them to be able to live, make money and to enjoy themselves. Nothing else matters. Their God is the world and its goods! The number of such people is increasing at an alarming rate.
Lastly, there are the good people who desire to become more and more perfect. Unfortunately, there are very few of these now and one would like to see them displaying greater generosity and enthusiasm for the salvation of those around them.
To which group do you belong? Perhaps you have not yet made up your mind completely to dedicate yourself to the pursuit of sanctity? Perhaps you are still wavering between the alternatives of good and evil? Anyone who remains inactive, becomes an accomplish!”
Quote/s of the Day – 27 November – Memorial of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal the “Medal of the Immaculate Conception”
THE PROMISES OF THE MEDAL When Our Lady appeared to Saint Catherine Labouré on 27 November 1830, rays of light flowed from the rings (made of precious stones) on her fingers. However, some of the stones on the rings did not shine.
Our Lady explained:
“These rays symbolise the graces I shed upon those who ask for them. The gems from which rays do not fall are the graces for which souls omit to ask.”
“All who wear it. will receive great graces. They should wear it around the neck. Graces will abound for persons who wear it with confidence.”
“Graces will be poured out on all those, small, or great, who ask for them with confidence and fervour. … ”
The Blessed Virgin Mary to Saint Catherine Labouré DC (1806-1876) November 1830
One Minute Reflection – 27 November – Memorial of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal – Readings: Daniel 7: 15-27; Daniel 3: 82-87; Luke 21: 34-36
“Be vigilant at all times and pray, that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man…” – Luke 21:36)
REFLECTION – “Watch” over your life. Do not let “your lamps” go out and do not keep “your loins ungirded” but “be ready,” for “you do not know the hour when our Lord is coming.” Meet together frequently in your search for what is good for your souls, since “a lifetime of faith will be of no advantage” to you unless you prove perfect at the very end. In the final days, multitudes of false prophets and seducers will appear. Sheep will turn into wolves and love into hatred. With the increase of iniquity, people will hate, persecute and betray each other. Then the world deceiver will appear in the disguise of God’s Son. He will work “signs and wonders” and the earth will fall into his hands. He will commit outrages such as have never occurred before.Then humankind will come to the “fiery trial“and many will fall away” and perish. “Those who persevere in their faith will be saved” by the Curse himself.
Then “there will appear the signs” of the Truth: first the sign of stretched-out hands in heaven, then the sign of “a trumpet’s blast” and third, the resurrection of the dead but not all the dead. As it has been said, “The Lord will come and all his saints with him. Then the world will see the Lord coming on the clouds of the sky.” – Unknown 1st Century Author of this early Treatise (Didache, 16)
PRAYER – Let us praise You alone, Lord, with voice and mind and deed and since life itself is Your gift, may we live in Your presence, never ceasing to live as Your children of light. Strengthen us good Father, to keep our lives free from the evils of the world and may we constantly be aware of the dangers we face. Grant that by the intercession of the Blessed and Immaculate Virgin Mother of Your divine Son, we may remain untempted by the evil pursuits which beset us. Through Jesus our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 27 November – The Memorial of The Medal of the Immaculate Conception / Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal and Mary’s Day
Prayer to Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal
Virgin Mother of God, Mary Immaculate, we unite ourselves to thee under thy title of Blessed Mother, Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal. May this medal be, for each one of us, a sure sign of thy motherly affection for us and a constant reminder of our filial duties towards thee. While wearing it, may we be blessed by thy loving protection and preserved in the grace of thy Son. Most powerful Virgin, Mother of our Saviour, keep us close to thee, every moment of our lives so that like thee, we may live and act according to the teaching and example of thy Son. Obtain for us, thy children, the grace of a happy death, so that in union with thee we may enjoy the happiness of heaven forever. Amen O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.
Saint of the Day – 27 November – Blessed Bernardine of Fossa OFM (1420-1503) Priest and Friar of the Observant Friars Minor of St Francis, Missionary in Italy and a renowned Preacher, noted Historian, Lawyer, Ascetical Writer, rising within the Order to important positions. Born in 1420 in Fossa, Aquila, Italy as Giovanni Amici and died on 27 November 1503 in the Franciscan Convent in L’Aquila, Italy of natural causes, aged 83. Also known as – Bernardine d’Amici, Bernardine of Aquila, Bernardine of Aquilanus, Fra Bernardino of Fossa, Giovanni Amici. Additional Memorial – 7 November (Franciscans). Patronages – the City and Diocese of L’Aquila.
The Roman Martyrology states: “At L’Aquila, blessed Bernardino da Fossa (Giovanni) Amici, Priest of the Order of Minors, who preached the Catholic Faith in many Provinces of Italy.“
Giovanni belonged to the ancient and noble family of the Amici and sometimes bears the name of Aquilanus on account of his long residence and death in the Town of Aquila.
He was of very lively intelligence and excelled in his studies. He graduated in Canon and Civil Law in Perugia and in 1445, at 21, he entered the Friars Minor of the Observance and completed his novitiate at Gubbio. On 13 March 1446 he made his solemn profession in the Convent of Stroncone taking the name of Bernardine and receiving the Habit from St James of the Marches who was then preaching a course of Lenten sermons at Perugiato. As was the custom of many religious Orders at the time, the place of birth was added, so Giovanni became Fra ‘Bernardino da Fossa.
Bernardine was endowed with outstanding organisational, spiritual and guiding skills and was, therefore, entrusted with various positions in the Franciscan Convents of Gubbio, Stroncone and others, also in Umbria. From there he passed into the Abruzzi, residing especially in his own City of L’Aquila.
He was a zealous Priest and talented Preacher in numerous Umbrian Towns. He was elected Provincial Father of the Friars Minor Observants for the Abruzzi four times , holding the office from 1454 to 1460 and then from 1472 to 1475 : between 1464 and 1467 he was instead Superior of Bosnia and Dalmatia, a Province just established by Pope Pius II and in 1468 he was elected Procurator of the Order at the Holy See .
He was twice elected bishop of Aquila (first in 1472 , on the death of Cardinal Amico Agnifili and then in 1491 , as the successor of Giovanbattista Gaglioffi) but he declined the election both times, from a spirit of humility.
In 1475 he abandoned all office and retired to the Convent of San Giuliano dell’Aquila. On 16 January 1495 , he managed to stop the troops of Charles VIII and persuaded them not to cross the L’ Aquila territory, sparing the population the serious consequences of a military occupation.
Bernardine was also a prolific writer – his writings include several sermons and short ascetical works and focus on themes of history and theology. His nephew, Antonio Amici, who was also his Biographer, published some of Bernardine’s works in 1572 , today of great value due to the extreme rarity of the preserved copies. Bernardine was the Author of the first life of his Patron, St Bernardino of Siena.
Bernardine died in the Convent of L’Aquila on 27 November 1503 and was always given a cult of blessed, both in Italy and throughout the Franciscan Order. The cult was later confirmed by the Beatification of Pope Leo XII on 26 March 1828.
Memorial of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal / The Medal of the Immaculate Conception (1830) (the correct title is the latter):
This Optional Memorial on the Catholic Calendar commemorates the apparition to St. Catherine Labouré on 27 November 1830. Then a novice of the Daughters of Charity in Paris, the young woman saw the Holy Virgin in glowing white, standing on a partial sphere, gazing heavenwards, holding up a gold globe as in offering to God. Words formed in an oval around her: “O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you.” The image turned around to reveal a cross atop a bar interlacing a letter M, with two hearts beneath. The Virgin spoke: “Have a medal struck after this model; everyone who wears it will receive great graces…”
On 30 June 1832, Aurélien Vachette delivered the first 1500 medals, commissioned by the the seer’s spiritual director and approved by the Archbishop. Vachette. As Catherine reported, rays came from Mary’s hands but here the hands were empty, held out at her sides. A snake appeared under her feet and below, the date 1830. On the reverse, where Catherine quoted the Virgin as saying, “The M and the two hearts are enough,” Vachette added the 12 stars of Revelation 12:1 encircling the whole. Despite these innovations, Sister Catherine approved the new Immaculate Conception medal, soon known as the Miraculous Medal for the many blessings it delivered as it spread rapidly through France, Europe and the world. It is still one of the most beloved and widespread and efficacious sacramentals of Catholic believers.
Two of the most famous conversions due to the Miraculous medal was that of Fr Alphonse Ratisbonne NDS (1814-1884), an anti-Catholic Jewish banker and Claude Newman (1923-1944). Fr Alphonse Ratisbonne received a vision of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal. After his conversion, he became a Priest and worked for the conversion of the Jewish people.
St Acacius of Sebaste St Acharius of Noyon St Apollinaris of Monte Cassino St Barlaam Blessed Bernardine of Fossa OFM (1420-1503) Priest, Friar of the Friars Minor St Bilhild of Altmünster Bl Bronislao Kostkowski St Eusician St Facundus St Fergus the Pict St Gallgo of Wales St Gregory of Sinai St Gulstan St Hirenarchus of Sebaste St James Intercisus St John Angeloptes St John of Pavia St Josaphat Bl José Pérez González Bl Juan Antonio de Bengoa Larriñaga St Laverius
Martyrs of Antioch – (3 saints): A group of Christians martyred together for their faith. Little information has survived except for their names – Auxilius, Basileus and Saturninus.
Martyrs of Nagasaki – (11 beati): A group of eleven Christians martyred together for their faith during a period of official persecution in Japan. They are: • Blessed Alexius Nakamura • Blessed Antonius Kimura • Blessed Bartholomaeus Seki • Blessed Ioannes Iwanaga • Blessed Ioannes Motoyama • Blessed Leo Nakanishi • Blessed Matthias Kozasa • Blessed Matthias Nakano • Blessed Michaël Takeshita • Blessed Romanus Motoyama Myotaro • Blessed Thomas Koteda Kyumi They were martyred on 27 November 1619 in Nagasaki, Japan and Beatified on 7 May 1867 by Pope Pius IX.
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War: • Blessed Bartolomé Gelabert Pericás • Blessed Eduardo Camps Vasallo • Blessed José Pérez González • Blessed Juan Antonio de Bengoa Larriñaga • Blessed Miguel Aguado Camarillo • Blessed Pedro Armendáriz Zabaleta
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