Thought for the Day – 27 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Blessed are the Clean of Heart
“There is a purity of heart and chastity, which is an obligation for everybody, even for those who are married or preparing for marriage.
Everybody is obliged to avoid any act of impurity, insofar as it is opposed to his own particular state, to the natural law and to the Divine law. Do not think that this degree of chastity is any easier than the first. Sometimes, the obligations it imposes, are even more difficult than those of absolute virginity.
There is only one remedy for impurity. It is the practice of virtue, to the point of sacrifice. Only a man who is ready, with the help of God, to make any sacrifice can preserve purity of heart. It is a difficult struggle but only those who win, can see God. Our Lord has said: “Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God” (Mt 5:8). Only the clean of heart will be able to see and enjoy Him forever in Heaven and, by means of His grace, will be able to see Him, in a less perfect manner, on earth. St Thomas Aquinas says, that mental blindness is the main effect of impurity (Summa Theologiae II-II q 55, a 6). This is because, anyone who gives himself up to impurity, loses all spiritual enlightenment and easily loses his faith, as well! He no longer sees God and he does not believe anymore because his heart is steeped in the mire of impurity. “The sensual man does not perceive the things that are of the Spirit of God, for it is foolishness to him and he cannot understand …” (1 Cor 2:14). He is like the blind mole which creates its own dark little underground world and cannot see the sky anymore.”
Quote/s of the Day – 27 January – The Memorial of St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father and Doctor of the Church, Bishop, Confessor.
“The waters have risen and severe storms are upon us but we do not fear drowning, for we stand firmly upon a rock. Let the sea rage, it cannot break the rock.” Let the waves rise, they cannot sink the Boat of Jesus.”
“Let the world be in upheaval. I hold to His Promise and read His Message, that is my protecting wall and garrison. What Message? “Know that I am with you always, until the end of the world!”
“Prayer is the place of refuge for every worry, a foundation for cheerfulness, a source of constant happiness, a protection against sadness.”
“If you cannot find Christ in the beggar at the Church door, you will not find Him in the Chalice.”
“When you are weary of praying and do not receive, consider how often you have heard a poor man calling and have not listened to him.”
St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father and Doctor of the Church
One Minute Reflection – 27 January – The Memorial of St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father and Doctor of the Church, Bishop, Confessor – 2 Timothy 4:1-8, Matthew 5:13-19
“You are the light of the world. A city seated on a mountain cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel but upon a candlestick, that it may shine to all that are in the house.” – Matthew 5:14-15.
REFLECTION – “The Lord called His disciples, the salt of the earth because they seasoned with heavenly wisdom, the hearts of men, rendered insipid by the devil. Now He calls them the light of the world too because they have been enlightened by Him, the true and everlasting Light and have themselves become, a light in the darkness.
Since He is the Sun of Justice, He fittingly calls His disciples, the light of the world. The reason for this, is that through them, as through shining rays, He has poured out the Light of the knowledge of Himself, upon the entire world. For by manifesting the Light of Truth, they have dispelled the darkness of error from the hearts of men.
Moreover, we too have been enlightened by them. We have been made light out of darkness as the Apostle says: “For once you were darkness but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light.” He says another time: “For you are not sons of the night and of darkness but you are all sons of light and of the day.”
Saint John also rightly asserts in his letter: “God is Light and whoever abides in God is in the light just as God Himself is in the light.” Therefore because we rejoice in having been freed from the darkness of error, we should always walk in the light as children of light. This is why the Apostle says: “Among them you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life.”
If we fail to live in the light, we shall, to our condemnation and that of others, be veiling over and obscuring by our infidelity, the light men so desperately need. As we know from Scripture, the man who received the talent should have made it produce a heavenly profit but instead, he preferred to hide it away rather than put it to work and was punished as he deserved.
Consequently, that brilliant Lamp which was lit for the sake of our salvation should always shine in us. For we have the lamp of the heavenly commandment and spiritual grace, to which David referred: “Your law is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Solomon also says this about it: “For the command of the law is a lamp.”
Therefore, we must not hide this lamp of law and faith. Rather, we must set it up in the Church, as on a lampstand, for the salvation of many, so that we may enjoy the Light of Truth itself and all believers may be enlightened.” – St Chromatius of Aquileia (Died c 407) Bishop of Aquileia, Theologian, Exegete, Writer and friend of Saints Ambrose and Jerome, Defender of St John Chrysostom. (An excerpt from Treatise on the Gospel of Saint Matthew). St Chromatius’ life here:https://anastpaul.com/2020/12/02/saint-of-the-day-2-december-saint-chromatius-of-aquileia-died-c-407/
PRAYER – Lord God, strength of those who hope in You, by Your will, Saint John Chrysostom became renowned in the Church for his astonishing eloquence and his forbearance in persecution. Grant that we may be enriched by his teachings and encouraged by the example of his unconquerable fortitude. We make our prayer through our Lord and Saviour, Your only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God now and forever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 27 January – The Memorial of St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father and Doctor of the Church, Bishop, Confessor.
Hail, O Mother! By St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father and Doctor of the Church
Hail, O Mother! Virgin, heaven, throne, glory of our Church, it’s foundation and ornament. Earnestly pray for us to Jesus, your Son and Our Lord, that through your intercession, we may have mercy on the day of judgement. Pray that we may receive, all those good things which are reserved for those who love God. Through the grace and favour of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, to Whom, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, be power, honour and glory, now and forever. Amen
Saint of the Day – 27 January – St Devota (Died c 303) Virgin Martyr,. Born at Mariana, Corsica, France and died by being tortured to death on the rack in c 303. Patronages – Monica, Corsica, House of Grimaldi, Mariana, Corsica; mariners. Also known as – Dévote, … of Corsica, … of Monaco.
Devota was a Corsican woman born at Mariana, Corsica. A young virgin, she had decided to devote herself fully to the service of God. Devota was part the household of Senator Eutychius of the imperial Roman administration.. During the Diocletian persecution, the Prefect Barbarus, arrived in Corsica with a fleet and when he learned that the Senator was harbouring a Christian in his house, demanded that she be given up and compelled to perform the requisite sacrifice to the imperial cult. Senator Eutychius refused, and not wishing to confront him directly, Barbarus arranged to have him poisoned. Devota was imprisoned and tortured for her faith. Her mouth was crushed, and her body was dragged through rocks and brambles. She was Martyred at Mariana by being racked to death.
After her death, the Governor of the Province ordered her body to be burnt to prevent its veneration. However, it was saved from the flames by Christians. Her body was placed on a boat bound for Africa. Gratianus the boat’s pilot; Benenato, a Priest and Apollinaris, his Deacon believed it would receive proper Christian burial there. However, a storm overtook the boat. A dove appeared and guided the boat to present-day Les Gaumates, part of the Principality of Monaco, where a Chapel dedicated to Saint George stood.
In her honour, a new Chapel was built, which stands in Monaco still where flowers bloom, on her Feast Day today, which is still in the throes of winter in Monaco and therefore, before their season. Reports of numerous miracles soon occurred at St Devota’s tomb. During incursions by Moors, Devota’s relics were translated to safety at the Monastery of Cimiez and were returned to Monaco, to her Church restored much later, by Antonio I, Prince of Monaco.
The Sainte-Dévote Chapel is first mentioned about 1070, belonging to the Abbey of Saint Pons. The Chapel was rebuilt and expanded several times. It became a Priory in the 13th century and in 1536 was acquired by Honoré I, Lord of Monaco. The Chapel became the Parish Church in 1887.
The “Legend of Saint Devota” is one of the Principality of Monaco’s oldest traditions – it has influenced national culture engendering a deep devotion to the Faith and to St Devota as well as influencing many areas of national life. in fields as diverse as history, literature, the arts, painting, music, coins and stamps. This legend, passed on through a medieval document, holds a special place in the heart of the Monégasque and over the centuries, has been awarded a permanent place in the Country’s history.
In 1070, Antinope, the Captain of a Florentine ship, attempted to steal the reliquary containing Devota’s relics. The legend states that a violent wind impeded him from escaping with the relics. Arrested, Ugo Grimaldi ordered his ears and nose to be cut off. Antinope’s boat was then burnt on the beach of Monaco.
In the 16th century, Devota was invoked for protection against the Genoese and the Pisans. Their ultimate failure to take away the independence of Monaco was attributed to the divine protection of Devota. In 1631, the cessation of an outbreak of the Plague was also due to St Devota’s intercession, as well as, the expulsion of the Spanish on the night of 17 November 1641 – a galley taken from the Spanish was renamed “Devota.” Monégasque coins bearing the effigy of Devota were issued in the 16th century, beginning in the reign of Honoré II, Prince of Monaco. During his reign, Devota became the Patroness of Monaco.
A series of postage stamps bearing Devota’s likeness were issued in 1944 and again in 1992.
St Devota has her very own corner on the famous Circuit de Monaco, where the most famous motor race in the world is held. Situated at the very first turn of the Grand Prix track is none other than the location of the Patron Saint’s Chapel. The celebrated Sanctuary is sadly often missed during the races, as the beautiful creme structure is usually covered by crash barriers and signage.
Joseph Méry put the legend of Saint Devota into verse. The first book written in Monegasque language by the Monegasque Poet, Louis Notari, is entitled A legenda de Santa Devota. It was composed in 1927 and is important because, until then, the Monégasque language, had been utilized only in speech.
Her cult became important to Monaco and the Grimaldis. Since 1874 it has been the custom that on the evening before her feast day a symbolic fishing boat is brought in procession into Port-Hercule and set alight outside the Église Sainte Dévote. This is followed by a fireworks display that lights up Port-Hercule.
On 27 January Mass is celebrated in the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception attended by Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene and their children. It is followed by a Solemn Procession of the Relics, to request protection for the Royal Family and the Principality. A Reception in the Monte Carlo Opera House also take place. Albert II, Prince of Monaco, together with Princess Charlene, participate in this ceremony.
In 2014 the Monegasque Rugby Federation, in association with the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation, organised the Saint Devota Rugby Challenge. Including teams from Spain and Italy, the free program includes educational workshops and circuits for disabled children, to introduce them to the game.
Most of you know that I am a South African and we, here at home, are all very proud of the South African Princess of Monaco, Charlene!
Bl Antonio Mascaró Colomina St Avitus St Candida of Bañoles St Carolina Santocanale St Devota of Corsica (Died c 303) Virgin Martyr St Domitian of Melitene St Emerius of Bañoles
Blessed Jurgis Matulaitis-Matulewicz/George Matulaitis MIC (1871-1927) Archbishop of Vilnius from late 1918 until his resignation in 1925, Apostolic Nuncio in Lithuania, Founder of the Congregation of the Poor Sisters of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Handmaids of Jesus in the Eucharist, Professor, Spiritual Director, Superior-General of the Marian Fathers from 1911 until his death and is known as the “Renovator of The Marians.” His Story: https://anastpaul.com/2020/01/27/saint-of-the-day-27-january-blessed-george-matulaitis-mic-1871-1927/
St Gilduin Bl Gonzalo Diaz di Amarante St Henry de Osso y Cervello St John Maria Muzeyi Bl John of Warneton St Julian of Le Mans St Julian of Sora St Lupus of Châlons
St Marius of Bodon Bl Michael Pini St Natalis of Ulster St Paul Josef Nardini Bl Rosalie du Verdier de la Sorinière St Theodoric of Orléans St Pope Vitalian
Martyrs of North Africa – 30 Saints: A group of 30 Christians martyred together by Arian Vandals. The only details to have survived are four of their names – Datius, Julian, Reatrus and Vincent. c 500 in North Africa.