Thought for the Day – 29 April – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Faith and Charity
“Our faith should be suffused by love of our neighbour , as well as, by the love of God. We should love our neighbour as ourselves. Does anybody really practise this fundamental Christian precept? Once again, let us contrast the magnificent mansions and places of entertainment of the rich, with the slums and hovels where thousands are living, in conditions which are not fit for rational human beings. Is this Christianity? Is this the teaching of the Gospel?
What would Jesus say about such aspects of modern life? It would seem, that the Gospel is still a closed book for many Christians.
Let us examine ourselves on this commandment, which is so generally ignored that the consequences are likely to be disastrous for everybody. Let us investigate how much responsibility we bear for this sad and dangerous state of affairs. Let us make appropriate resolutions, which will save us from the peril of God’s final and fearful condemnation – “Depart from me, accursed ones, into the everlasting fire… As long as you did not do it for one of these least ones, you did not do it for me!” (Cf Mt 25:41-46).”
Quote/s of the Day – 29 April – 2 Timothy 2:8-10; 3:10-12, John 15:1-7
“I am the vine, you the branches; whoever remains in me and I in him, the same bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”
“My sheep hear My Voice; and I know them and they follow Me.”
“He [Christ], protects their faith and gives strength to believers, in proportion to the TRUST, that each man, who receives that strength, is willing to place in Him.”
St Cyprian of Carthage (c 200- c 258) Martyr, Father of the Church
“The way to rest is through toil, the way to life is through death. Christ has taken on Himself the whole weakness of our lowly human nature. If then we are steadfast in our faith in Him and in our love for Him, we win the victory that He has won, we receive what He has promised.”
St Pope Leo the Great (400-461) Father and Doctor of the Church
“Place all your trust in God, let Him be your fear and your love. He will answer for you, He will do what is best for you. You have here no lasting home. You are a stranger and a pilgrim wherever you may be and you shall have no rest, until you are wholly united with Christ. Why do you look about here when this is not the place of your repose?”
Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)
“For the branch,” says St Augustine, “there can be no half-measures. Either it remains united with the vine, or it is thrown into the fire.” The same holds true for each one of us. We must choose, either close union with Jesus, or separation and spiritual death. We must decide between a life of fervour in Christ, or a life of tepidity and sin.”
One Minute Reflection – 29 April – The Memorial of St Peter Martyr of Verona OP (1205–1252) Martyr, Priest – 2 Timothy 2:8-10; 3:10-12, John 15:1-7
“I am the vine, you the branches; he who abides in me and I in him, the same bears much fruit; for without me you can do nothing.” – John 15:5
REFLECTION –“The Lord calls Himself, the vine and those united to Him, branches, in order to teach us how much we shall benefit from our union with Him and how important it is for us to remain in His love. By receiving the Holy Spirit, Who is the bond of union between us and Christ our Saviour, those who are joined to Him, as branches are to a vine, share in His own nature.
On the part of those who come to the vine, their union with Him depends upon a deliberate act of the will; on His part, the union is effected by grace. Because we had goodwill, we made the act of faith that brought us to Christ,and received from Him, the dignity of adoptive sonship which made us His own kinsmen, according to the words of Saint Paul: – He who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.
The prophet Isaiah calls Christ the foundation because, it is upon Him that we as living and spiritual stone, are built into a holy priesthood to be a dwelling place for God in the Spirit. Upon no other foundation than Christ, can this temple be built. Here Christ is teaching the same truth by calling Himself the vine, since the vine is the parent of its branches and provides their nourishment.
From Christ and in Christ, we have been reborn through the Spirit, in order to bear the fruit of life; not the fruit of our old, sinful life but the fruit of a new life, founded upon our faith in Him and our love for Him. Like branches growing from a vine, we now draw our life from Christ and we cling to His holy commandment in order to preserve this life. Eager to safeguard the blessing of our noble birth, we are careful not to grieve the Holy Spirit Who dwells in us and Who makes us aware of God’s presence in us.
Let the wisdom of John teach us how we live in Christ and Christ lives in us – The proof that we are living in Him and He is living in us, is that He has given us a share in His Spirit. Just as the trunk of the vine gives its own natural properties to each of its branches, so, by bestowing on them the Holy Spirit, the Word of God, the Only-Begotten Son of the Father, gives Christians a certain kinship with Himself and with God the Father because they have been united to Him by faith and determination to do His will in all things. He helps them to grow in love and reverence for God and teaches them to discern right from wrong and to act with integrity.” – St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Archbishop of Alexandria, Father and Doctor of the Church (An excerpt from: Commentary on the Gospel of John).
PRAYER – Saint Thomas Aquinas in Eulogy for Saint Peter the Martyr Here silent is Christ’s Herald; Here quenched, the People’s Light; Here lies the Martyred Champion Who fought Faith’s holy fight.
The voice the sheep heard gladly, The light they loved to see He fell beneath the weapons Of graceless Cathari.
The Saviour crowns His Soldier; His praise the people psalm. The Faith he kept adorns him With Martyr’s fadeless palm.
His praise new marvels utter, New light he spreads abroad And now the whole wide city Knows well the path to God.
Morning Offering By St Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort (1673-1716)
My God, just as I wish to love nothing more than You, so I wish to live, only for You. I offer You all my thoughts, all my words, all my actions and all my sufferings of this day; please bestow Your holy blessing, upon them all. Amen
Saint of the Day – 29 April – Saint Severus of Naples (Died 409) Bishop of Naples for 46 years, Confessor, friend of St Ambrose, constructor of four Basilicas and the first Baptistry in the West. Died in 409 of natural causes. Patronages – Naples and St Severus in Foggis, Italy.
The Roman Martyrology reads: “In Naples, St Severus, Bishop, loved by St Ambrose, as a brother and, by his Church ,as a father.”
In the catalogue of the Neapolitan Bishops, Severus is shown in twelfth place. Practically nothing is known of his life prior to his Episcopal appointment. Severus completed his Episcopate from February 363 to 29 April 409, therefore, a few decades after the freedom of worship decreed by Emperor St Constantine to Christians (313). It was certainly a period in which the two religions, pagan and Christian, were forced to coexist and the regurgitation of paganism was frequent.
His work took place after these pagan returns and the violent attacks of the Arian heretics. The Church of Naples, with its enlightened guide, flourished in the True Faith of Christianity – Severus brought back to the City , the remains of his predecessor, St Maximus (4th century), who had died in exile in the East, during the Arian persecution. It must be said,that St Maximus was the tenth Bishop of Naples and Severus ,the twelfth, therefore, between the two, there was the Arian usurper Zosimus, who probably returned, during his six years as Bishop, to the True Faith and was, therefore, considered the 11th legitimate Bishop.
Several ancient documents confirm, that he won esteem and affection, not only of Christians,but also of pagans. He was a friend of St Ambrose (340-397) Bishop of Milan, who had the opportunity to meet him during the Plenary Council of Campania, held in 392 in Capua.
The foundations of four Basilicas are attributed to him, one of which, adorned with marble and precious mosaics, was dedicated to the Saviour. Of this ancient Basilica later called St George Major, only the apse remains. The construction of the famous Baptistery of Naples is unanimously also attributed to Severus, about thirty years earlier than that erected at the Lateran by Sixtus III (432-440) and, therefore, is the oldest in the West. The Baptistery is currently leaning against the Basilica of Santa Restituta in the Cathedral of Naples. It is inspired by oriental canons, with mosaics considered to be the most precious among those that have come down to us.
Outside the City walls, Severus had a cemetery Basilica built a short distance from the Basilica of St Fortunato, where he had the relics of Bishop St Maximus interred. and those of St Januarius. From this Basilica, the relics of both Saints were translated, towards the middle of the 9th Century, to an oratory of the urban Basilica of St Severus. St Severus himself too was buried in this Basilica outside the walls and in 1310 translated to the High Altar of the Cathedral of Naples
The Saint is also the Patron Saint of the City and Diocese of St Severus, in the Province of Foggia.
Fascinating fact: The City of Naples has more than 50 official Patron Saints, although its principal Patron is the Martyr Bishop Saint Januarius.(Died c 304). His life here: https://anastpaul.com/2017/09/19/saint-of-the-day-19-september-st-januarius/ Co-patrons of Naples and years of designation: Saint Januarius (305) Saint Thomas Aquinas (1605) Saint Andrew Avellino (1622) Saint Patricia (1625) Saint Francis of Paola (1625) Saint Dominic (1641) Saint James of the Marches (1647) Saint Anthony of Padua (1650) Saint Francis Xavier (1654) Saint Theresa of Avila (1664) Saint Philip Neri (1668) Saint Cajetan (1671) Saint Agnellus of Naples (1671) Saint Severus of Naples (1673) Saint Agrippinus of Naples (1673) Saint Aspren (1673) Saint Euphebius (1673) Saint Athanasius of Naples (1673) Saint Nicholas of Bari (1675) Saint Gregory the Illuminator (1676) Saint Claire of Assisi (1689) Saint Blaise (1690) Saint Peter of Verona (1690) Saint Joseph (1690) Saint Michael (1691) Saint Francis of Assisi (1691) Saint Maria Maddalena de’ Pazzi (1692) Saint John the Baptist (1695) Saint Francis Borgia (1695) Saint Candida the Elder (1699) Saint Mary of Egypt (1699) Saint Anthony Abbot (1707) Saint Ignatius Loyola (1751) Saint Mary Magdalene (1757) Saint Irene (1760) Saint Emidius (1760) Archangel Raphael (1797) Saint Anne (1805) Saint Aloysius Gonzaga (1835) Saint Augustine (1835) Saint Vincent Ferrer (1838) Saint Alphonsus Liguori (1840) Saint Francis Caracciolo (1843) Saint John Joseph of the Cross (1845) Saint Pascal Baylon (1845) Saint Francis Jerome (1845) Saint Roch (1856) Saint Joachim (1895) Saint Mary Frances of the Five Wounds of Jesus (1901) Saint Lucy (1903) Saint Gertrude the Great (1927) Saint Rita of Cascia (1928)
Madonna del Sangue / The Bleeding Madonna in Re, Piedmont, Italy (1494) – 29 April:
Without doubt this is one of the most important places of worship in the whole of Piedmont – the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Sangue in Re stands imposing and majestic on the skyline of the Vigezzo Valley. It owes its origin to the blood shed from a fresco of the Madonna del Latte (the Nursing Madonna) originally painted on the façade of the small Church of San Maurizio.
On 29 April 1494, a group of young people met in front of the Church to play a traditional village game, piodella, which consisted of throwing a flat stone against a wooden cylinder on which a coin was placed. One of them, particularly unlucky in the game, became angry and threw his stone at the Church, striking the portrait of Our Lady. The following morning the fresco of the Madonna began to bleed from her forehead. The blood continued to flow abundantly for about 20 days and many sick and infirm inhabitants of the valley, after strengthening their devotion to the Madonna were healed, thanks to miracles, which were officially recognised by the civil and religious authorities of the time.
In 1606 the construction of a larger Church began, completed in 1628 but the influx of pilgrims from all over Italy and neighbouring Switzerland, required an even larger structure. In 1894, four hundred years after the miracle, it was thus decided to build a new Sanctuary. Work on the Sanctuary began only in 1922 and the Consecration took place on 5 August 1958.
The celebration of the miracle takes place every year from 29 April to 1sMay, with a heart-felt and well-attended pilgrimage on foot.
Abbots of Cluny: A feast that recognises the great and saintly early abbots of Cluny Abbey: • Saint Aymardus of Cluny • Saint Berno of Cluny • Saint Hugh of Cluny • Saint Mayeul • Saint Odilo of Cluny • Saint Odo of Cluny • Saint Peter the Venerable
St Antonius Kim Song-u St Ava of Denain St Daniel of Gerona St Dichu St Endellion of Tregony St Fiachan of Lismore
St Hugh of Cluny (1024-1109) St Hugh the Great, Priest, Abbot of Cluny from 1049 until his death., founder-builder of numerous Monasteries, Convents , Hospitals and the biggest Church in Europe prior to the building of St Peter’s, apostle of the poor, the sick, the marginalised by the feudal system, ecclesiastical Reformer, holy father to his Monks and servant to all who needed him,. He was one of the most influential leaders of the monastic orders from the Middle Ages. St Hugh the Great: https://anastpaul.com/2021/04/29/saint-of-the-day-29-april-st-hugh-of-cluny-1024-1109-st-hugh-the-great/
Bl Robert Gruthuysen St Senan of Wales St Severus of Naples (Died 409) Bishop St Theoger St Torpes of Pisa St Tychicus St Wilfrid the Younger
Martyrs of Cirta: A group of clergy and laity Martyred together in Cirta, Numidia (in modern Tunisia) in the persecutions of Valerian. They were – Agapius, Antonia, Emilian, Secundinus and Tertula, along with a woman and her twin children whose names have not come down to us.
Martyrs of Corfu: A gang of thieves who converted while in prison, brought to the faith by Saint Jason and Saint Sosipater who had been imprisoned for evangelising. When the gang announced their new faith, they were Martyred together. They were – Euphrasius, Faustianus, Insischolus, Januarius, Mammius, Marsalius and Saturninus. They were boiled in oil and pitch in the 2nd century on the Island of Corcyra (modern Corfu, Greece. Also known as: • Martyrs of Corcyra • Seven Holy Thieves • Seven Holy Robbers • Seven Robber Saints