Thought for the Day – 12 May – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“All Generations Shall Call Me Blessed”
“O Mary, my loving Mother, I wish to add my voice to the millions of voices which have proclaimed your blessedness, throughout the ages. Grant that my recognition of your sanctity, may not be merely verbal but, may be prayed by deeds. Let me do more than pray to you as my Mother, my Queen and my powerful Mediatrix with God. Let me also acknowledge, that you are all this to me by a practical and filial imitation of your outstanding virtues. Amen.”
Quote/s of the Day – 12 May – Wisdom 5:1-5, John 4:46-53.
“And himself believed and his whole house.”
“Believing is: an act of the intellect assenting to the divine truth, by command of the will, moved by God through grace.”
St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) Doctor Angelicus. Doctor Communis
“Do you also wish to go away?” He asked. It was then that Simon Peter made his memorable reply, “Lord, to whom shall be go? Thou hast the words of everlasting life.” (Jn 6:68-69). We also may experience, at times, a sense of uncertainty concerning the words of Jesus Christ. There are such tremendous mysteries in the Christian religion. But, a religion which contained no mysteries could scarcely be true. There are mysteries of nature surrounding us and within us. How can we imagine that there are no mysteries in God, the supreme and most perfect Being? Could it be possible for our petty intellects fully to comprehend God in Himself and in His revelation? Let us bow our heads, therefore, before the mysteries of the Divinity. Let us adore God and repeat with St Peter: We cannot go away from You, O God because You have the words of everlasting life.”
Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried; He descended into hell; on the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting. Amen
One Minute Reflection – 12 May – The Memorial of Sts Nereus, Achilleus, Domitilla (Virgin) and Pancras, Martyrs – Wisdom 5:1-5, John 4:46-53.
“Unless you see signs and wonders, you believe not.” – John 4:48
REFLECTION – “Whoever examines the majesty of God will be crushed by His glory” (Prv 25,27 Vg). God can do works that surpass man’s understanding… Faith is required of you and sincerity of life – not high intelligence, nor penetrating knowledge of the mysteries of God. If you do not understand, nor grasp what is below you, how will you comprehend what is above you? Be subject to God, submit yourself to the faith and the light of knowledge will be given to you, as much as you need and can use.
Some have grave temptations concerning faith and sacraments, which are not to be imputed to them but rather, to the enemy. Take no notice, do not argue with your thoughts, nor answer the doubts with which the devil attacks you; believe God’s word, believe His saints and prophets and the wicked enemy will be routed. It is often most profitable to God’s servant, to endure such things. For the devil does not tempt the infidel or sinner, of whom he has already secure possession but he uses various means, to tempt and harass the devout faithful.
Go on then with simple unquestioning faith and approach the Sacrament with reverent beseeching. Anything you cannot understand, commit it surely to God, Who is omnipotent. God does not deceive you – the over-confident person deceives himself. God walks in step with the simple ones, He shows Himself to the humble ones, He grants understanding to the little ones; “He reveals hidden meanings to little ones” and hides away His grace from the inquisitive and the proud. Human reason is feeble and fallible but true faith cannot be deceived. All use of reason, all human inquiry should walk in the footsteps of faith; it should not go on in front of it, nor call it in question.” – Thomas à Kempis CRSA (1380-1471) (The Imitation of Christ IV, 18).
PRAYER – May the holy feast of Your Martyrs, Nereus, Achilles, Domitilla and Pancras, ever comfort us, we beseech You, O Lord and make us worthy to serve You. And grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord God, unto all Thy servants, that they may remain continually in the enjoyment of soundness, both of mind and body, and by the glorious intercession of the Blessed Mary, always a Virgin, may be delivered from present sadness and enter into the joy of Thine eternal gladness. Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.
Our Morning Offering – 12 May – “The Month of the Blessed Virgin Mary”
Save Us, O Mary! By Venerable Pope Pius XII (1876-1958) (Pontiff 1939-1958)
O Virgin, fair as the moon, delight of the Angels and Saints in Heaven, grant that we may become like you and that our souls may receive a ray of your beauty, which does not decline with the years but shines forth into eternity. O Mary, sun of Heaven, restore life where there is death and enlighten spirits, where there is darkness. Turn your countenance to your children and radiate on us your light and your fervour. O Mary, powerful as an army, grant victory to our ranks. We are very weak and our enemy rages with uttermost conceit. But under your banner we are confident of overcoming him. …. Save us, O Mary, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, awe-inspiring as an army set in battle array and sustained, not by hatred but by the ardour of love. Amen.
Saint of the Day – 12 May – St Domingo de la Calzada / Dominic of the Causeway ((1019 – 1109) Priest, Hermit, Bridge Builder, a road, a Hospital/Hostel, a Church, in effect a town, Miracle-worker. Born in 1019 as Domingo García in Victoria, Biscay, Spain and died in 1109 at Santo Domingo de la Calzada, Spain, of natural causes. Patronages – Spanish civil engineers. eye diseases, the blind, the Pilgrim’s Town of Santo Domingo de la Calzada, Spain. Also known as – Dominic of Landeveien, Domenico, Dominicus…
Dominic was the son of a peasant named Ximeno García. His mother was named Orodulce. We know little about his early years, except that he worked as a shepherd and then tried, in vain, to be admitted as a Monk in the Benedictine Monasteries of Valvanera and San Millán de la Cogolla. This failure caused him to retire as a Hermit to a secluded place, Ayuela, near present-day Santo Domingo de la Calzada. There he led a contemplative life until 1039.
Fundamental to his later development was the relationship he established, around this date, with Gregory, Bishop of Ostia, who arrived in Calahorra as a Papal Envoy to combat a terrible locust plague that devastated the Navarrese and Riojan territories. For five years and until the death of the future Ostiense Saint in 1044, Dominic became Bishop Gregory’s close collaborator.
He received the Priestly Ordination from Gregory’s hands. Together, they decided to build a first wooden bridge over the Oja River to facilitate the transit of pilgrims to Compostela.
After the death of Saint Gregory, Dominic returned to the area where he had spent his years of retirement and undertook a profound colonising work there. He cut down the forests, cleared the land and began the construction of a stone road that was a deviation from the traditional path between Logroño and Burgos but which became, from that moment on, the main route between Nájera and Redecilla.
To improve the conditions of the pilgrims on their way to Compostela. who began to cross it, he replaced the first wooden bridge with another made of stone and built a complex consisting of a hospital, a well and a Church, to attend to the needs of travellers. Today, it is the Casa del Santo, which is a used as a hostel by modern-day pilgrims.
The town of Santo Domingo de la Calzada began as a few houses built around the Hermitage of the Saint in his lifetime. At his death in 1109, the village had grown in population. King Alfonso VI of Castile annexed La Rioja in 1076 and seeing that Dominic’s efforts contributed to the Castilianisation of the region, decided to support him and his projects. He visited Dominic in 1090 and, thereafter, Dominic, assisted by his disciple Juan de Ortega, began construction on a Church dedicated to Christ and the Virgin Mary. Outside, and attached to its walls, the Saint chose a place for his own burial. The Church was Consecrated by the Bishop of Calahorra in 1106.
Dominic died in 1109. His Church, later the Cathedral of Santo Domingo de la Calzada, was where he was buried, as he had requested and it was elevated to the rank of Cathedral after being placed in the jurisdiction of the Diocese of Calahorra in the 1230s.
Many miracles are attributed to the intercession of St Dominic, among them the exorcism of a French knight who had been possessed by the devil and who was freed of his affliction by visiting the tomb of Dominic. Another miracle, concerns the healing of a German pilgrim named Bernard in the 15th Century, who was cured of an affliction of the eyes, by his prayers at Dominic’s tomb. Another concerns the healing of a blind Norman who was granted his eyesight by God, when he prayed fervently for Dominic’s intercession in the Cathedral.
The most famous miracle, however, concerns that of the rooster and the chicken, which occurred at Santo Domingo de la Calzada. In the 14th Century, a German 18-year-old named Hugonell, from Xanten, went on pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela with his parents. A Spanish girl at the hostel where they were staying made sexual advances toward Hugonell. But he rejects her advances. Angry at this, the girl hid a silver cup in the German’s bag and then informs the authorities, that the youth had stolen it. Hugonell was sentenced to the gallows, in accordance with the laws of Alfonso X of Castile.
The parents sadly decided to examine their son’s body, still hanging on the gallows,but suddenly heard his voice telling them that Saint Dominic had saved his life! His parents quickly made their way to Santiago de Compostela to see the Magistrate. The Magistrate, who was eating dinner, remarked: “Your son is as alive as this rooster and chicken that I was feasting on before you interrupted me.” And at that moment, the two birds jump from the plate and begin to sing and crow happily.
The first element of the tale, that of a hanged pilgrim, is found in many collections of miracles, with the restoring of life after the death of the victim attributed not only St Dominic, but also to Saint James the Great, or to the Virgin Mary. The second part of the tale, the miracle of the dancing and singing roasted chicken and rooster, is unique to St Dominic de la Calzada.
In memory of Dominic’s miracle, a rooster and chicken, with white feathers, are kept alive at the Cathedral all year round. A different rooster and chicken are alternated each month, although they are called descendants of the original birds, who miraculously danced even though roasted. The pairs of roosters and chickens, when they are not at the Cathedral, are kept in a chicken coop called the Gallinero de Santo Domingo de la Calzada, which the Confraternity of St Dominic maintains with the help of donations. A wayside Shrine built in 1445, holds a relic associated with the miracle: a piece of wood from the gallows from which Hugonell was hanged and then restored to life. Medieval pilgrims gathered the feathers of these favoured birds, or received them from the Priest and would affix them to their hats. Another tradition claimed that if the birds ate breadcrumbs directly from the end of the pilgrim’s staff, that pilgrim would arrive safely in Compostela.
The German pilgrim Hermann Künig (15th century) claimed to have seen the room where the roasted birds began to sing and dance. Documents written by pilgrims, state that Hugonell’s shirt as well as the gallows, had been conserved by the Church of Santo Domingo. These artifacts are now lost
St Crispoldus St Cyril of Galatz St Dedë Malaj St Diomma of Kildimo St Dionysius of Asia St Domingo de la Calzada / Dominic of the Causeway ((1019 – 1109) Priest, Hermit, Bridge Builder St Ejëll Deda St Ephrem of Jerusalem
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