Thought for the Day – 14 May – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Refuge of Sinners
“Mary, my merciful Mother, you see how wretched I am and how often I have fallen. I wish to reform and sanctify myself but I am not able without your powerful assistance, the weakness of my nature is an insurmountable obstacle. Come to my aid, O Mother of mercy. Obtain for me, forgiveness from your Divine Son. Obtain for me too, the grace of a complete change of heart, so that I may be truly your child here upon the earth and share in your glory in Heaven. Amen.”
Quote/s of the Day – 14 April – “The Month of the Blessed Virgin Mary” and Mary’s Day – Sirach 24:14 -16, John 19:25-27
“Behold, thy mother”
“Go to Mary and sing her praises and you will be enlightened. For it is through her, that the true Light shines on the sea of this life.”
St Ildephonsus (607-670)
“O Mary, you give assistance to everyone endeavouring to rise to God!”
St Bridget of Sweden (c 1303 – 1373)
“Wherefore, in the same holy bosom of His most chaste Mother, Christ took to Himself flesh and united to Himself, the spiritual Body formed by those who were to believe in Him. Hence Mary, carrying the Saviour within her, may be said, to have also carried, all those. whose life was contained in the life of the Saviour. Therefore, all we, who are united to Christ and, as the Apostle says, are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones (Eph 5:30), have issued from the womb of Mary, like a body united to it’s Head.”
One Minute Reflection – 14 April – “The Month of the Blessed Virgin Mary” and Mary’s Day – Sirach 24:14 -16, John 19:25-27
“Behold, thy mother” – John 19:27
REFLECTION – “Woman, this is your son. This is your mother.” By what right is the disciple whom Jesus loved, the son of the Lord’s mother? By what right is she his mother? By the fact that, without pain, she brought into the world the salvation of us all, when she gave birth in the flesh to the God-man. But now she is in labour with great pain as she stands at the foot of the Cross.
At the hour of His Passion, the Lord Himself rightly compared the Apostles to a woman in childbirth, when He said: “When a woman is in labour she is in anguish because a child is born into the world” (cf. Jn 16:21). How much more, then, might such a Son compare such a Mother, the Mother standing at the foot of His Cross, to a woman in labour? What am I saying? “Compare?” She is indeed truly a woman and truly a mother and, at this hour, she is truly experiencing the pains of childbirth. When her Son was born she did not experience the anguish of giving birth in pain as other women do; it is now that she is suffering, that she is crucified, that she experiences sorrow like a woman in labour because her hour has come ( Jn 16:21; cf.13:1; 17:1). …
When this hour has passed, when the sword of sorrow has completely pierced her soul in labour (Lk 2:35), then, no more shall she “remember the pain because a child has been born into the world” – the new Man who renews the entire human race and reigns forever over the whole world, truly born, beyond all suffering, immortal, the firstborn from the dead. If the Virgin has thus brought the salvation of us all into the world, in her Son’s Passion, then she is indeed the Mother of us all!” – Rupert of Deutz (c 1075-1130) Benedictine Monk, Theologian, Exegete and Writer – Commentary on Saint Johns Gospel, 13 ; PL 169, 789.
PRAYER – 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 (Collect).
Our Morning Offering – 14 May – “The Month of the Blessed Virgin Mary” and Mary’s Day
O Mother Blest By St Alphonsus Maria Liguori (1696-1787) Most Zealous Doctor of the Church Trns. Fr Edmund Vaughn C.SS,R, (1827 – 1908 )
O Mother blest, whom God bestows On sinners and on just, What joy, what hope thou givest those Who in thy mercy trust. Thou are clement, thou are chaste, Mary thou art fair, Of all mothers, sweetest best, none with thee compare.
O heavenly Mother, mistress sweet! it never yet was told that suppliant sinner left thy feet, unpitied, unconsoled. Thou are clement, thou are chaste, …
O Mother, pitiful and mild, Cease not to pray for me; For I do love thee as a child, And sigh for love of thee. Thou art clement, thou art chaste, …
Most powerful Mother, all men know Thy Son denies thee nought; Thou askest, wishest it, and lo! His power thy will hath wrought. Thou art clement, thou art chaste, …
O Mother blest, for me obtain, Ungrateful though I be, To love that God who first could deign To show such love for me. Thou art clement, thou art chaste, Mary, thou art fair. Of all mothers, sweetest, best, None with thee compare.
Saint of the Day – 14 May – St Maria Domenica Mazzarello FMA (1837-1881) Virgin, Religious Sister and Founder with St John Bosco of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians. They were founded to work alongside Saint John Bosco and his Salesians of Don Bosco, in his teaching projects in Turin. They continue to be a teaching Order worldwide and are now called the Salesian Sisters of St John Bosco. Born on 9 May 1837 at Mornese, Acqui, Italy and died on 14 May 1881, aged 44, in Nizza Monferrato, Asti, Italy of natural causes. Also known as – Mary Dominic Mazzarello.
Maria was born in Mornese, in what is now the Province of Alessandria, northern Italy, to a peasant family who worked in a vineyard. She was the eldest of ten children of Joseph and Maddalena Calcagno Mazzarelli. When she was fifteen she joined the Association of the Daughters of Mary Immaculate, known for there charitable works and run by the Parish Priest, Father, Domenico Pestarino – this Apostolate was a precursor to the founding of the Salesian Sisters.
When she was 23 years old, a typhoid epidemic hit Mornese causing the death of many villagers. Soon, her uncle and aunt were taken ill and Maria volunteered to care for them and their many children. After a week they recovered, however, when Maria returned home, she also became ill with typhoid. Due to the illness, she received the last rites. She recovered, but the illness left her weak. The strength which had formerly sustained her, in her work in the fields, was no more. Maria was now thin and frail; a shell of her formerly robust self.
She took an apprenticeship as a seamstress in the town and worked diligently at the craft. Like St John Bosco, the skills which she learned in her youth, she was able to pass onto those who would come after her. One day, Maria was walking in her village and was suddenly astounded to see before her, a vision of a large building with a courtyard and many girls playing and laughing. A voice said to her, “I entrust them to you.”
The education of girls was a particular need in the nineteenth century and Maria decided to devote herself to this work. Hosts of farm girls , or serving girls, factory workers and street vending girls, filled the streets of the city and all of them were at risk to juvenile prostitution. She wished to educate them and teach them a trade, to save them from the dangers of street life. She persuaded some of her girl friends to join her in this project. Fifteen young women now comprised the Daughters of Mary Immaculate. Fr Pestarino busied himself with training them in the spiritual life and managed to secure a place for some of them to live in community, thus was the beginning of religious life in Mornese. The Daughters took in a few young girls and housed them, schooling them in the faith and handing down to them, their knowledge of dress aking, tailoring and general sewing skills.
John Bosco was told of the Daughters by Fr Pestarino, who himself was training as a Salesian of Don Bosco, under the Saint. Considering his vision of the young girls, Bosco decided to meet with them. He went to Mornese with his boy band under the guise of raising funds for his Oratory but his true intention was to investigate the possibility of founding a female counterpart of the male Salesian religious Order,.
In 1867, after meeting with them and receiving the Daughters’ enthusiastic response to his proposal, St John drew up their first rule of life. A source of the community’s good spirit, sense of humour, optimism and charity, Maria Mazzarello was the natural choice for the first Superior. Eventually obedience won out and she was the first Mother of the young community at age thirty.
After many formation, struggles, the well-intentioned but misdirected advice of others, and difficulties with the townspeople (whose school for boys which they had raised money for and built, st John transferred to the Daughters, for their work). The day of their profession arrived. The fifteen young women, led by Maria, professed their vows as religious women in the presence of the Bishop of Acqui, their spiritual father St John and Fr Pestarino. The date was 31 July 1872, the birthday of this new religious family.
At age thirty-five, donned in a habit, she was now Sister Maria Mazzarello. As the feminine branch of the Salesian religious family, the Daughters sought to do for girls what the Priests and Brothers were doing in Turin for boys.
After being elected Mother General of the Salesian Sisters, Maria Mazzarello felt that it was important that she and the other Sisters, have a good understanding of how to read and write; it was a skill which many of them had never had the opportunity to acquire and which training she now organised. Her dedication to her Sisters was not limited to their intellectual development alone. In every way, she was an attentive mother, which is why to this day, she is still fondly referred to as “Mother Mazzarello” by the Salesian Family.
The first Missionary Sisters set out for Uruguay in 1877. Mother Mazzarello accompanied them to their port of call in Genoa, and then took a boat to France, so that she could visit the SIsters who had already established themselves there.
In Marseilles their ship had to be repaired and all of the passengers were forced to disembark while it was dry docked. Although the Sisters had been told that lodging had been prepared for them, there was a mix-up and they were left without stranded.. Mother Mazzarello was not one to let events such as this discourage her, so she took the sheets that they had brought with them, stuffed them with straw and made makeshift beds for all of them. After a miserable night of sleep, they all awoke but Mother Mazzarello could not get up. A fever was ravaging her body and she was in terrible pain. The next morning,, more out of a concern for her already exhausted companions, she was able to get up, see the Missionaries off and then journey with her remaining Sisters to their house and orphanage in St.Cyr.
Once in St Cyr ,she fainted and was confined to bed for forty days.. The diagnosis was pleurisy. Eventually she returned to Italy, even though the doctor told her not to travel. She said that she wanted to die in her own community. She made her return journey in stages, she was painfully aware of her delicate condition. Fortunately. on one of her stops St John was near and they were able to meet for the last time.
In early April, Maria returned to Mornese. Her native air strengthened her and since she felt stronger she insisted on keeping the community schedule and doing her usual work. Unfortunately, it was too much for her and she relapsed. Near the end of April it seemed that death was approaching. Finally, in the pre-dawn hours of 14 May 1881, Mother Mazzarello began her death agony. After receiving the last rites she turned her attention to those around her and weakly whispered, “Good-bye. I am going now. I will see you in Heaven.” Shortly after she died at the age of forty-four.
Maria was Beatified on 20 November 1938 and Canonised on 24 June 1951. Her incorrupt body is venerated in the Basilica of Our Lady Help of Christians, in Turin, Italy, which is the Mother Basilica of the Salesians, built by St John Bosco. A Church in southeast Rome bears her name, Santa Maria Domenica Mazzarello – the Statue below resides there..
St Boniface of Ferentino St Boniface of Tarsus St Corona the Martyr St Costanzo of Capri St Costanzo of Vercelli Bl Diego of Narbonne St Dyfan St Engelmer St Erembert of Toulouse St Felice of Aquileia St Fortunatus of Aquileia St Gal of Clermont-Ferrand
St Henedina of Sardinia St Justa of Sardinia St Justina of Sardinia St Maria Domenica Mazzarello FMA (1837-1881) Virgin, Religious Sister and Founder with St John Bosco of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians. They were founded to work alongside Saint John Bosco and his Salesians of Don Bosco in his teaching projects in Turin. They continue to be a teaching Order worldwide and are now called the Salesian Sisters of St John Bosco.Her Body is incorrupt.
St Pons of Pradleves St Pontius of Cimiez St Tuto of Regensburg St Victor the Martyr
Martyrs of Seoul – 5 Beata: A group of lay people Nartyred together in the apostolic vicariate of Korea. • Petrus Choe Pil-je • Lucia Yun Un-hye • Candida Jeong Bok-hye • Thaddeus Jeong In-hyeok • Carolus Jeong Cheol-sang 14 May 1801 at the Small West Gate, Seoul, South Korea
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