Thought for the Day – 13 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Our souls have an innate desire to be happy. God Himself, has placed this desire in our hearts. What else are we doing all our lives but trying, by every possible means, to be happy? Unfortunately, we seek happiness where it is not to be found. Some seek it in material gain, others in honours, others in pleasure. But our hearts are much wider than the riches and honours and pleasures of this world! In comparison with the riches of the human spirit, worldly wealth is a very insignificant thing. Worldly honours are shadows which pass. As The Imitation of Christ reminds us, we are what we are before God, not what we appear to be before men (Bk III Ch 50:81). Pleasure also passes quickly and when it is immoderate, it leaves in our hearts, a sense of emptiness and disgust. St Augustine had a good deal of experience of the deceptiveness and complexity of human happiness. He had reason to exclaim: “You have made us for Yourself, O Lord and our hearts are restless, except in You” (Confessions, I, 1:1). We should follow the example of the Saints and aim at Heaven in everything we do. This should be the goal of our earthly journey. We should make sure, that all our actions are in conformity with the Will of God and directed towards this end alone!”
Quote/s of the Day – 13 January – The Octave Day of the Epiphany, Gospel: Isaias 60:1-6; John 1:29-34
“Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”
“And I knew him not\ but he who sent me to baptise with water said to me: He upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending and remaining upon him, he it is, who baptises with the Holy Spirit. And I saw and I gave testimony, that this is the Son of God.”
“His action is preceded by the beaming rays of His light and knowledge. He comes with the truth of the real Protector; for He comes to save, to lead, to teach, to counsel, to strengthen, to console, to illumine in the first place the mind of the person who receives Him and through that person‘s works, the minds of others.”
St Cyril of Jerusalem (315-387) Father and Doctor of the Church
“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.”
One Minute Reflection – 13 January – “Month of the Most Holy Name of Jesus” – The Octave Day of the Epiphany, Gospel: Isaias 60:1-6; John 1:29-34
“Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” – John 1:29
REFLECTION – “A second time,” says the evangelist, “John stood and said: ‘Behold, the Lamb of God’.” Christ utters no word; John the Forerunner says it all. So, it is with a bridegroom: he does not say anything to the bride to begin with but steps forward and stands there in silence. Others present him to the bride and give her into his hands. Thus, when she appears, the bridegroom does not take her himself but receives her from the hands of another, who gives her to him. And when he has thus received her from another, he binds her so strongly to himself, that she no longer remembers those she has left for his sake. So it was with Christ. He came to wed human nature; he did not speak a word but merely came. It was the friend of the bridegroom (Jn 3,29), John, who put the Bride’s right hand into His – in other words, the hearts of those He had convinced with His preaching. Then, Jesus Christ welcomed them and satisfied them with so many good things that they no longer turned back to the one who had led them to Him…
John alone proclaimed Him to be present to the people. He was given the name “friend of the Bridegroom” because he alone was present at this marriage with the Church. He it was, who did everything, who brought everything about. Seeing Christ coming, he said: “Behold the Lamb of God.” Thus he showed that it was not by voice alone but, with his eyes also, that he bore witness. He wondered at the Son of God and, when he beheld Him, his heart leaped for joy. At first, he did not preach Christ to his followers but only showed wonder and astonishment at Him. In that way he made known to all, by means of the word “lamb,” the gift Jesus came to give. And John did not say,“ Who is to take” or “Who has taken” but, “This is he who takes away the sins of the world” and, not just at the time of His Passion but always. He offered only one, single sacrifice for the sins of the world yet, by this oblation, He purifies forever, the consciences of human sinners.” – St John Chrysostom (c.345-407), Priest at Antioch then Bishop of Constantinople, Father and Doctor of the Church (Homilies on Saint John’s Gospel, no18).
PRAYER – Almighty God, Your Son’s manhood, born of the Virgin, was a new creation, untainted by our sinful condition. Renew us then, in Christ and cleanse us from our sins. May the Most Holy Name of Jesus, be our light, our safeguard and our shield. Through Christ our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for all time and forever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 13 January – The Octave Day of the Epiphany
Prayer to do the Will of God By St Francis of Assisi (c 1181-1226)
Almighty, eternal, just and merciful God, grant us in our misery, the grace to do for You alone what we know You want us to do and always to desire, what pleases You. Thus, inwardly cleansed, interiorly enlightened and inflamed by the fire of the Holy Spirit, may we be able to follow in the footprints of Your beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. And, by Your grace alone, may we make our way to You, Most High, Who live and rule in perfect Trinity and simple Unity and are glorified God all-powerful, forever and ever. Amen
Saint of the Day – 13 January – Saint Remigius of Rheims (c 438-533) “Apostle of the Franks,” Bishop of Rheims, Lord Chancellor of France, renowned Scholar and Rhetorician, Missionary and zealous Preacher of the Gospel for the glory of the Kingdom of God, miracle-worker. Born at Cerny-en-Laonnois, near Laon, Picardy, in c 438 and died on 13 January 533 of natural causes. Patronages – against epidemics, against fever, against plague, against religious indifference, against snakes, against throat pain, of France, Dhuy, Belgium, Rheims, France, Archdiocese and City, Arignano, Italy. Also known as – Remigius of Reims, emi…, Remigio…, Remigiusz…, Romieg…, Rémi…, Rémy… Additional Memorials – 1 October (translation of relics), 15 January (France, General Calendar), 3rd Sunday in September (Arignano, Italy).
The Roman Martyrology states: “In Rheims, still in Belgian Gaul, now in France, deposition of St Remigius, Bishop – after King Clovis was initiated into the Sacred Baptismal font and the Sacraments of faith, he converted the Franks to Christ and, after more than sixty ‘ years of Episcopate, he left this life remarkable for holiness.”
Remigius was born, into the highest levels of Gallo-Roman society. He was the son of Emilius,Ccount of Laon and of Celina, daughter of the Bishop of Soissons, which Clovis had conquered in 486. From a very early age his intelligence and aptitude for oratory garnered the admiration of teachers and classmates. He studied at RHeims and soon became so noted for his learning and sanctity and his high status, that he was elected Bishop of Rheims at age 21, although still a layman . He was both Lord Chancellor of France and Référendaire of France.
The story of the return of the sacred vessels (most notably the Vase of Soissons), which had been stolen from the Church of Soissons, testifies to the friendly relations existing between him and Clovis, King of the Franks, whom he converted to Christianity with the assistance of Saint Vedast (Vedastus, Vaast, Waast) and Saint Clotilde, the Burgundian Princess who was wife to Clovis. Even before he embraced Christianity, Clovis had showered benefits upon Remigius and the Christians of Rheims and after his victory over the Alamanni in the battle of Tolbiac (probably 496), he requested Remigius to baptise him at Rheims (25 December 496) in the presence of a large company of Franks and Alamanni; according to Saint Gregory of Tours, 3,000 Franks were baptised with Clovis.
The work of this man of only twenty-one years of age, in heading such an important Episcopal See, soon revealed the wisdom of this choice. In his famous Historia Francorum, St. Gregory of Tours writes: “St. Remigius was a Bishop of considerable knowledge who, at first, had been steeped in the study of rhetoric but who, so distinguished himself by his holiness that he equalled Sylvester in miracles.”
King Clovis granted Remigius stretches of territory, in which Remigius established and endowed many Churches. He erected Bishoprics at Tournai; Cambrai; Thérouanne, where he personally Consecrated the first Bishop in 499; Arras, where he installed St Vedast and Laon, which he gave to his niece’s husband Gunband. In 530, he Consecrated Medardus, Bishop of Noyon. Remigius’ brother Principius, was Bishop of Soissons and also corresponded with Sidonius Apollinaris, whose letters give a sense of the highly cultivated courtly literary style all three men shared.
The chroniclers of “Gallia Christiana” record that numerous donations were made to Remigius by the Frankish nobles, which he presented to the Cathedral at Rheims.
The charity and kindness of the young prelate soon won over the hearts of the faithful, whom he served devotedly—comforting all those who sought his help with material alms or with consolation and guidance for the soul. However, without neglecting the care of those belonging to the flock of Christ, through Baptism, St. Remigius burned with the desire to conquer new souls.
Although Remigius did not attend any of the Church Councils, in 517 he held a Synod at Rheims, at which after a heated discussion he converted a Bishop of Arian views.
His work in the missionary field of present day Belgium was not always successful, especially in regard to the nobles of the area. Many missionaries would have become discouraged in face of this apparent failure but not the Bishop of Rheims. Steeled by virtue, his soul possessed the mettle of a hero and the confidence of a prophet. Far from disheartening him, the death of the King of the region of Belgium, emboldened the strong-willed prelate.
Childeric left his son Clovis as successor—a 15 year-old adolescent, whom the Franks promptly proclaimed King. It became indispensable to win his friendship from the start and to instil in the youth a holy respect for the Church and its representatives.
Accordingly, Remigius sent him a letter that combined the affection of a father and the authority of a teacher: “In the first place, you must take care that the discernment of the Lord does not abandon you and that your merit remains at the height to which your humility has led you, since, according to the proverb, the actions of men are judged by their end. You should surround yourself with councillors of whom you can be proud. Do good, be chaste and honest. Show yourself to be filled with deference toward your Bishops and always have recourse to their advice. […] Divert yourself with the youths but deliberate with the elders and if you desire to reign, show yourself worthy to do so.”
This letter was the first step of a long journey that led the young King to the Baptismal font in the Cathedral of Rheims.
Many years followed for our Saint of zealous missionary work to announce the Gospel to those who are neither king nor prince, as well as diplomatic guidance of the King and his kingdom. In the final years of his life, God willed that the venerable brow of the Bishop that had been encircled by a halo of glory, be crowned with suffering – his body was bent under numerous illnesses that did not, however, dampen his enthusiasm or lessen his charity. Finally, in 533, Remigius surrendered his soul to God at the age of 96, after seventy years of Episcopal ministry.
Few authentic works of Remigius remain: his “Declamations” were elaborately admired by Sidonius Apollinaris, in a finely turned letter to Remigius, but are now lost. Four letters survive in the collection known as the Epistulae Austrasicae: one containing his defence in the matter of Claudius, two written to Clovis and a fourth to Bishop Falco of Tongres. A brief “Vita” was formerly ascribed to St Venantius Fortunatus. Another, was written by Ignatius, Bishop of Reims. A Commentary on the Pauline Epistles (edited Villalpandus, 1699) is not his work but that of St Remigius.
Remigius’ relics were kept in the Cathedral of Rheims, whence Hincmar had them translated to Épernay during the Viking invasions and thence, in 1099 to the Abbey of Saint-Rémy.
List of Churches dedicated to Saint Remigius:
Saint Remigius Church – a Roman Catholic church in Simpelveld, The Netherlands. Long Clawson – an Anglican church in the village of Long Clawson, Leicestershire. Stoke Holy Cross – an Anglican church in the village of Stoke Holy Cross in South Norfolk Seething Norfolk. Church of England round tower church dedicated to St Margaret and St Remigius. Saint Remigius Church, a Roman Catholic church in Haacht, Belgium.
St Leontius of Caesarea St Luca Pham Trong Thìn Bl María Francisca Espejo y Martos Bl Matteo de Lana St Peter of Capitolíade St Remigius of Rheims (c 438-533) Bishop “Apostle of the Franks” St Servusdei of Córdoba St Stephen of Liège St Stratonicus