Thought for the Day – 19 December – Meditations withAntonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
A Christmas Novena IV The First Hours of the Childhood of Jesus Christ
“Enter in spirit into the stable at Bethlehem and humbly kneel before the Word of God made man. What do we find Jesus doing in these first moments of His mortal life. By a single act of His divine will, He could have instantly transformed the human race. But, He came to redeem men and preach to them before anything else, the virtues which they most needed – humility, indifference to worldly possessions and the acceptance of suffering. He taught them to endure suffering, neither rebelliously, nor even as a disagreeable necessity but, as a means of purification and sanctification. Before the time of Jesus Christ, suffering was dreaded and abhorred. He taught us to love it because it is the salt of the earth which saves us from corruption because, it detaches us from worldly things and because, it lifts our thoughts towards Heaven.
What then do we find Jesus doing in these first moments of His mortal life|? He is weeping and smiling by turns, as a newborn infant does. How can we understand the mystery behind these divine tears? Jesus does not weep because it is cold and damp, nor because He is uncomfortable on His bed of straw. He could have remedied these inconveniences, if He had so desired by a single act of His will. No, He weeps for us, for the human race, immersed in sin. He weeps and suffers, so that we also may learn to weep and suffer for our sins and to do penance for them. This is the explanation of the tears of the Divine Child. Let us learn to weep with Him and we shall be purified and comforted.”
Nuestra Señora de Toledo (La Casulla de Santo Ildephonsus) / Our Lady of Toledo, Spain (The Chasuble of St Ildephonsus) (657) – 19 December:
In the year 657 one day while St Ildephonsus (607-670), Archbishop of Toledo, was saying matins, Our Lady appeared to him, accompanied by a great number of the blessed and holding in her hands the book which he had composed in her honour. Sshe thanked him for it and out of gratitude, gave him a white Chasuble. This celestial gift is still preserved and is now at Oviedo — Alphonsus, the chaste King of Castile, having transferred it to the Church of St Saviour, which he had built. Tradition claims, that Ildephonsus’successor, Siagrius, tried to use the Vestment but died in the act of robing. The garment is said to have been seen and touched by Herbert Losinga, Bishop of Norwich, as late as the eleventh century.
St Adelaide of Susa (c 1014-1091) Countess, Married Laywoman
Bl Bogumila Noiszewska St Boniface of Cilicia Bl Cecilia of Ferrara St Dominic Uy Van Bui St Fausta of Sirmium St Gregory of Auxerre St Jaume Boguñá Casanovas St Johannes Gogniat St Jordi Sampé Tarragó St Josep Albareda Ramoneda Bl Kazimiera Wolowska Bl Konrad Liechtenau St Manirus of Scotland St Meuris of Alexandria St Nemesius of Alexandria St Phanxicô Xaviê Hà Trong Mau St René Dubroux Ribert of Saint-Oyend St Stêphanô Nguyen Van Vinh St Thea of Alexandria St Timothy the Deacon St Tôma Nguyen Van Ðe
Blessed Mercedarian Fathers – (6 beati): A group of Mercedarian monks noted for their dedication to the Order’s rule, for their continuous prayer life and their personal piety. • Blessed Bartolomeo of Podio • Blessed Giovanni of Verdera • Blessed Guglielmo de Gallinaris • Blessed Guglielmo of Prunera • Blessed Pietro of Benevento • Blessed Pietro of Gualba
Martyrs of Nicaea – (4 saints): A group of Christians martyred together. The only surviving details are four of their names – Darius, Paul, Secundus and Zosimus. They were martyred at Nicaea, Bithynia (modern Izmit, Turkey).
Martyrs of Nicomedia – (5 saints): A group of Christians martyred together in the persecutions of Diocletian. We know little more than the names of five – Anastasius, Cyriacus, Paulillus, Secundus and Syndimius. They were martyred in 303 at Nicomedia, Asia Minor.
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War: Thousands of people were murdered in the anti-Catholic persecutions of the Spanish Civil War from 1934 to 1939. Virtually each day of the year a Group are celebrated, usually individually but sometimes an entire Monastery or Convent or Lay Movement were martyred together. Today we remember: • Blessed Jaume Boguñá Casanovas • Blessed Jordi Sampé Tarragó • Blessed Josep Albareda Ramoneda