Thought for the Day – 7 February – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Religion and Action
“Anyone who fails to correspond with the grace of God, is not living the life of Jesus. Without the life of Jesus, he is a dead limb, a withered branch cut away from the vine. It is not enough to say “Lord, Lord!” in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven but, it is necessary to do the will of our Heavenly Father (Cf Mt 7:21). The grace of God must produce an abundant harvest of good works, no matter what sacrifices this may cost us. Otherwise, God’s gift would have been bestowed in vain and, before the Supreme Judge one day, would be a reason for a terrible retribution, instead of a reward. Let us think seriously about this. Has the spirit of religion become reduced to an empty form of belief and ritual action, or are we really living what we believe? Meditate with attention to these words of St James: “What will it profit, my brethren, if a man says he has faith but does not have works? Can the faith save him? And if a brother or a sister be naked and in want of daily food and, one of you say to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and filled,’ yet you do not give them what is necessary for the body, what does it profit? So faith too, unless it has works, is dead in itself” (Js 2:14-17).
Even the devil believes but he is damned forever (Cf Js 2:18). “Religion pure and undefiled before God the Father is this – to give aid to orphans and widows in their tribulation and to keep oneself unspotted from this world!” (Js 1:27).
One Minute Reflection –7 February – The Memorial of St Romuald, Abbot (c 951-1027) – Ecclus 45:1-6, Matthew 19:27-29.
“And everyone who has left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands for my name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold and shall possess life everlasting.” – Matthew 19:29
REFLECTION – “Seek for nothing, desiring to enter for love of Jesus, with detachment, emptiness and poverty in everything in this world. You will never have to do with necessities greater than those to which you made your heart yield itself – for the poor in spirit are most happy and joyful in a state of privation and he who has set his heart on nothing, finds satisfaction everywhere.
The poor in spirit (Mt 5:3) give generously all they have and their pleasure consists in being thus deprived of everything for God’s sake and out of love to their neighbour … Not only do temporal goods – the delights and tastes of the senses – hinder and thwart the way of God but spiritual delights and consolations also, if sought for or clung to eagerly, disturb the way of virtue.” – St John of the Cross (1542-1591) Carmelite, Doctor of the Church (Spiritual maxims, nos. 352, 355,356, 364; 1693 edition)
PRAYER – Father of might and power, every good and perfect gift comes to us from You. Implant in our hearts the love of Your Name and Your creatures. Increase our zeal for Your service by following behind Your Son with determination and joy. Nourish in us what good and tend it with watchful care. Grant that the prayers and caring love of the Blessed Virgin, our Mother, may help us to follow Jesus our Saviour unreservedly and thus attain eternal life. We make our prayer through Christ, our Lord in the union of the Holy Spirit, one God for all eternity, amen.
Jesus, My Saviour, Help Me! By St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787) Most Zealous Doctor of the Church
Jesus, my Saviour, help me! I am resolved truly to love Thee and to leave all, to please Thee. Help me to free myself from everything which hinders me from belonging wholly to Thee, Who has loved me so much. By thy prayers, O Mother Mary, which are so powerful with God, obtain for me this grace, to belong wholly to God. Amen
Saint of the Day – 7 February – Saint Richard the King Pilgrim (Died c 722) Layman Prince, Married and was the Father of the West Saxon Saints Willibald (Bishop of Eichstadt), Winnibald (Abbot of Heidesheim) and Walburga. (Virgin, Nun). Died in722 at Lucca, Italy of natural causes. Also known as – Richard of Lucca, Richard the Pilgrim, Richard the Saxon, Ricanus, Ricarius, Richard of Wessex.
The Roman Martyrology reads: “In Lucca, deposition of St Riccard, Father of the Saints Willibald, Winnibald and Walburga, who died on the way with his children from England to Rome.”
Richard, Prince of the Western Saxons, husband of a relative of Saint Boniface, St Wuna.
This noble and devout family came from Wessex, an English region and according to an account of the Nun Hugebure of Heidenheim, in 720, he entrusted his eleven-year-old daughter Walburga to the Abbess of Wimborne in Dorset, renounced his estates, and left with his two sons on a pilgrimage to Rome. Willibald was just twenty and Wunibald was nineteen.
Sailing on the River Hamble, near Southampton, they crossed the English Channel and then up the Seine, finally arriving at Rouen in France. Not before having visited and prayed at numerous French Shrines and Sanctuaries, the three pilgrims then made their way to Italy.
Riccard died unexpectedly after developing a fever, near Lucca in c 722, before reaching Rome. In this Tuscan City, the pilgrim Saint still rests today and his relics are the object of veneration in the Basilica of St Fredian.
St Willibald then joined the famous St Boniface in the evangelisation of Germany, founding the double Monastery of Heidenheim and becoming the first Bishop of the City of Eichstatt. Wunibald was also a Missionary with them and ran the Heidenheim Monastery with his sister Walburga., when she joined them. When Willibald died and was buried in Eichstadt, it was desired that Riccard’s remains, which were still deposited in Lucca, would be transferred there so that they could rest next to those of his son. The faithful of Lucca, however, firmly opposed this suggestion and the inhabitants of Eichstadt had to be content with a little dust from his tomb.
However, in consideration of the sublime holiness of his offspring and the numerous miracles that occurred at his tomb in St Fredian, a life of “Saint Richard, King of England” was then written, a title thus also bestowed upon him by the Catholic Martyrology until 1956.
Richard is depicted with the Blessed Mother and his three children at Eichstädt Cathedral. In religious artworks, Richard is portrayed as a royal pilgrim in an ermine-lined cloak with two sons, one a Bishop and one an Abbot.
Notre-Dame d’Avesniéres, Laval / Our Lady of Avesnières, Laval, France (11th Century) – 7 February:
The Basilica of Notre-Dame Avesnières is located in Laval, in the region of Pays de la Loire. It is located in the district of Avesnières, on the right bank of the Mayenne river and south of the City centre. The Church has existed at least since the 11th Century but it got its present appearance in the 12th Century, when the Benedictines set up a Priory here. The nuns left Avesnières during the Hundred Years’ War and the Church then became a simple Parish Church. It was raised to the rank of minor Basilica in 1898, by Pope Leo XIII.
The Church was founded by Guy, Lord of Laval, who, falling into the river wanting to cross it, was miraculously saved from drowning, by the Blessed Virgin and transported safely to the river bank. The spot was chosen, in remembrance of this miraculous rescue, to host a Sanctuary dedicated to the Notre-Dame. In 1871, Monsignor Casimir Wicart, first Bishop of Laval, in the face of the anxiety provoked by the advance of the Prussian troops, decided to organise a large prayer vigil in Avesnières. At this ceremony, the faithful assembled and took an oath to rebuild the Church if the Blessed Mother saved the City from foreign occupation. The next day, the Prussians were stopped in their tracks in Saint-Melaine, at the gates of Laval, when the Virgin appeared before them. Where is our faith today?!
St Adaucus of Phrygia St Amulwinus of Lobbes St Anatolius of Cahors Bl Anna Maria Adorni Botti Bl Anselmo Polanco Bl Anthony of Stroncone St Augulus St Chrysolius of Armenia St Fidelis of Merida Bl Felipe Ripoll Morata
St Maximus of Nola St Meldon of Péronne St Moses the Hermit St Parthenius of Lampsacus Bl Peter Verhun
Blessed Pope Pius IX (1792-1878) Bishop of Rome from 16 June 1846 to the day of his death. He is the longest-reigning Pope in the history of the Church, serving for over 31 years. During his Pontificate, Pius IX convened the First Vatican Council (1869–70), which decreed Papal Infallibility and promulgated the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception. Pope Pius IX named three new Doctors of the Church: St Hilary of Poitiers (1851), St Alphonsus Liguori (1871) St Francis de Sales (19 July 1877). His body is incorrupt. All about Blessed Pope Pius IX: https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/02/07/saint-of-the-day-blessed-pope-pius-ix-1792-1878/
St Richard the King Pilgrim (Died c 722) Layman Bl Rizziero of Muccia Bl Rosalie Rendu (1786-1856) St Theodore Stratelates