Pentecost Novena to the Holy Spirit for the Seven Gifts
Thou, of all consolers best, Visiting the troubled breast, Dost refreshing peace bestow.
The Gift of Piety
The gift of Piety begets in our hearts, a filial affection for God as our most loving Father. It inspires us to love and respect, for His sake. persons and things consecrated to Him, as well as those, who are vested with His authority, His Blessed Mother and the Saints, the Church and its visible Head, our parents and superiors, our country and its rulers. He who is filled with the gift of Piety, finds the practice of his religion, not a burdensome duty but, a delightful service. Where there is love, there is no labour.
Come, O Blessed Spirit of Piety, possess my heart. Enkindle therein, such a love for God, that I may find satisfaction only in His service and for His sake, lovingly submit to all legitimate authority. Amen.
Our Father and Hail Mary – ONCE. Glory be to the Father – SEVEN TIMES.
ACT OF CONSECRATION TO THE HOLY SPIRIT To be recited daily during the Novena
On my knees, I, before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses, offer myself, soul and body to You, Eternal Spirit of God. I adore the brightness of Your purity, the unerring keenness of Your justice and the might of Your love. You are the Strength and Light of my soul. In You I live and move and am. I desire never to grieve You by unfaithfulness to grace and I pray with all my heart to be kept from the smallest sin against You. Mercifully guard my every thought and grant that I may always watch for Your light, listen to Your Voice and follow Your gracious inspirations. I cling to You and give myself to You and ask You, by Your compassion, to watch over me in my weakness. Holding the pierced Feet of Jesus, looking at His Five Wounds and trusting in His Precious Blood and adoring His opened Side and stricken Heart, I implore You, Adorable Spirit, Helper of my infirmity, t o keep me in Your grace, that I may never sin against You. Give me grace O Holy Spirit, Spirit of the Father and the Son, to say to You always and everywhere, “Speak Lord for Your servant hears.” Amen.
Thought for the Day – 29 May – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Great Exile
“God is the great exile. The majority of mankind have banished Him from public and private life. They do not want Him anymore – they do not even think of Him. There is even a minority who hates and curses Him! It is true that there are still faithful and generous communities, like oases in a vast and arid desert, who love God and even dedicate themselves to His service. But, the great majority ignore Him. If they remember Him sometimes, they do so vaguely and as a matter of form. They think of God as if He were a distant Being Who is not interested in their activities.
Obviously, therefore, men no longer live the life of God. They live mechanically and obtusely, devoid of spiritual enlightenment or thought of Heaven. Their lives are like those of blind moles which reside in darkness beneath the ground, without any desire to see the light of day. Bound to the earth as they are, they are afraid of the great concepts of eternity, the immortality of the soul, the last judgement, Heaven and Hell.
“Since men’s natural inclinations are towards worldly things,” wrote Pope Pius XII, “his inability to understand the things of the Spirit of God, is unfortunately, aggravated in our times by the entire nature of his surroundings. Very often, God is neither denied nor cursed, it is rather as if He were not there at all. There is constant and open propaganda in favour of a worldly life without God. Men live and die, as if there were no such realities as God, redemption, or the Church.” (Discourses XL, 14).
Are you or your family and friends a victim of this trend? What place does God hold in your mind and the course of your life? We are heading for inevitable ruin, if we allow ourselves to be swept away by the corruption of the world. Remember the frightening words of Jesus in the company of His disciples, “Not for the world do I pray,” he said, “but for those whom Thou hast given me because they are Thine” (Jn 17:9). Without Jesus, the world is racing towards utter destruction. It is terrifying but that is the way it is!
Holy Mary, my Mother, I place my trust in you because I know, that your intercession, is all-powerful with your Divine Son, Jesus. Help me to detach myself completely from sin and to conquer my rebellious inclinations, Grant that I may imitate the shining example of your sanctity, in such a way, that you may be truly my hope and my sure refuge, now and at the hour of my death. Amen. ”
Quote/s of the Day – 29 May – Sunday within the Octave of Ascension – The Memorial of St Maria Magdalena de’ Pazzi O.Carm (1566-1607)
“You will be consoled according to the greatness of your sorrow and affliction; the greater the suffering, the greater will be the reward.”
“By opening the door of our heart to love for God, this love dissolves all self-love in us. But we must open the door!”
“Prayer ought to be humble, fervent, resigned, persevering and accompanied by great reverence. One should consider, that he stands in the presence of God and speaks with a Lord before whom the Angels tremble, from awe and fear.”
“Never utter, in your neighbour’s absence, what you would not say, in their presence.”
One Minute Reflection – 29 May – Sunday within the Octave of Ascension – 1 Peter 4:7-11, John 15:26-27; 16:1-4 and the Memorial of St Maria Magdalena de’ Pazzi O.Carm (1566-1607)
“Yes, the hour is coming, for everyone who kills you, to think he is offering worship to God.” – John 16:2
REFLECTION – “I urge you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice” (Rm 12,1). With this plea the Apostle Paul raises all men to participation in the priesthood… We do not look outside ourselves for something to offer God but bring with us and within us, something to sacrifice to God for our own advantage… “I urge you by the mercies of God.” Brothers, this sacrifice is in Christ’s image, He Who laid down His life here below and offered it for the life of the world. Indeed He made a living sacrifice of His Body, Who yet lives after being killed. In so great a sacrifice, death was destroyed, removed by the sacrifice… Hence martyrs are born at the time of their death and begin to live as their life ends; they live when they are killed and shine in Heaven when people on earth think they have been snuffed out…
The prophet sang: “You did not ask for sacrifice or oblation but a body you have prepared for me” (Ps 39,7). Become both the sacrifice that is offered and the one who offers it to God. Do not lose what God’s power has granted you. Put on the cloak of holiness. Take up the belt of chastity. May Christ be the veil over your head; the cross, the breastplate that gives you perseverance. Keep in your heart the sacrament of Holy Scripture. May your prayer burn constantly, like a sweet-smelling fragrance to God. Take up “the sword of the Spirit” (Eph 6,17), may your heart be the altar where, without fear, you may offer your whole self, your whole life…
Offer your faith, to make reparation for unbelief; offer your fasting, to put an end to voraciousness; offer your chastity, that sensuality may die; be fervent, that wrongdoing may cease; exercise mercy, to end avarice and to suppress foolishness, offer your holiness. Thus will your life become your offering, if it has not been wounded by sin. Your body lives, yes, it lives, each time that, putting evil to death within you, you offer living virtues to God. ” – St Peter Chrysologus (c 400-450) “Doctor of Homilies,” Bishop of Ravenna, Father and Doctor of the Church (Sermon 108)
PRAYER – O God, lover of chastity, Who endowed with heavenly gifts, blessed Mary Magdalena, a virgin on fire with love for You, grant that we, who keep this feast-day in her honour, may imitate her by purity and love. 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 – 29 May – Sunday within the Octave of Ascension
Stay With Me, O Lord By Padre Pio (1887-1968)
Stay with me, Lord, for You are my Life and without You, I am without fervour. Stay with me, Lord, for You are my Light and without You, I am in darkness. Stay with me, Lord, so that I hear Your Voice and follow You. Stay with me, Lord, for I desire to love You very much and always be in Your company. Stay with me, Lord, if You wish me to be faithful to You. Stay with me, Lord, as poor as my soul is, I want it to be a place of consolation for You, a nest of Love. Stay with me, Jesus, for it is getting late and the day is coming to a close and life passes, death, judgement and eternity approach. It is necessary to renew my strength, so that I will not stop along the way and for that, I need You. It is getting late and death approaches, I fear the darkness, the temptations, the dryness, the cross, the sorrows. O how I need You, my Jesus, in this night of exile! Stay with me tonight, Jesus, in life with all its dangers, I need You. Let me recognise You as Your disciples did, at the breaking of the bread, so that the Eucharistic Communion be the Light which disperses the darkness, the force which sustains me, the unique joy of my heart. Stay with me, Lord, because at the hour of my death, I want to remain united to You, if not by Communion, at least by grace and love. Stay with me, Lord, for it is You alone I look for, Your Love, Your Grace, Your Will, Your Heart, Your Spirit, because I love You and ask no other reward but to love You more and more. With a firm love, I will love You with all my heart while on earth and continue to love You perfectly, during all eternity. Amen.
Saint of the Day – 29 May – St Maximinus of Trier (Died c 346) the Sixth Bishop of Trier and Confessor, Defender of the True Faith, Miracle-worker. (Died c 346) Born at Silly near Poitiers, France and died in c 346. Patronage – of the City of Trier and of the Diocese, protection against perjury, loss at sea and destructive rains. Also known as – Maximus, Maximin.
The Roman Martyrology states of him today: “At Treves, the blessed Maximinus, Bishop and Confessor, who received, with honour, the father St Athanasius, banished by the Arian persecutors.”
Maximinus was an opponent of Arianism and was supported by the courts of Constantine II and Constans, who harboured, as an honoured guest, St Athanasius twice during his exile from Alexandria. These two incidents were in 336–37 and again, in 343. In the Arian controversy, Maximinus had begun in the party of St Paul I of Constantinople; however, he took part in the Synod of Sardica convoked by Pope Julius I (c 342) and, when four Arian Bishops consequently came from Antioch to Trier, with the purpose of winning Emperor Constans to their side, Maximinus refused to receive them and induced the Emperor to reject their proposals.
He was born near Poitiers, nobly descended, and related to Maxentius, Bishop of that City before St.Hilary. The reputation of the sanctity of St Agritius, Bishop of Triers, drew him, as a young man. to Trier and after a most virtuous education, he was admitted to Holy Orders. Upon the death of Agritius, Maximinus was chosen as his successor.
When St Athanasius was banished to Triers in 336, Maximinus received him, not as a person disgraced but, as a most glorious Confessor of Christ and thought it a great happiness, to enjoy the company of so illustrious a Saint. St Athanasius stayed with him for two years; and his works bear evidence to the indefatigable vigilance, heroic courage and exemplary virtue, of our Saint, who was before that timem famous for the gift of miracles.
St Paul, Bishop of Constantinople, being banished by Constantius, found also a retreat at Triers and, in Maximinus, a powerful protector. Our saint, by his counsels, precautioned the Emperor Constans against the intrigues and snares of the Arians and on every occasion, discovered their artifice and opposed their faction.
He was one of the most illustrious Defenders of the Catholic Faith in the Council of Sardica in 347 and had the honour to be ranked, by the Arians, together with St Athanasius, in an excommunication, which they pretended to fulminate against them at Philippopolis.
He also sent Sts Castor and Lubentius as Missionaries to the valleys of the Mosel and the Lahn.
Maximinus is said to have died in Poitou in 349, having made a journey thither to see his relatives. His cult began right after his death. His feast is celebrated on 29 May, on which day his name stands in the Martyrologies of St Jerome, St Bede, St Ado,and others. Trier honours him as its Patron. In the autumn of 353 his body was buried in the Church of St John near Trier, where in the seventh century was founded the famous Benedictine Abbey of St.Maximinus, which flourished till 1802.
His body was afterwards translated to Triers on the day which is now devoted to his memory. St Maximinus, by protecting and harbouring Saints, received himself the recompense of a Saint.
Notre-Dame des Ardents / Our Lady of Ardents, Arras, France (1095) – 29 May:
The Abbot Orsini wrote: “A wax candle is kept in the Cathedral of Arras, which is held to have been brought thither by Our Lady, in the year 1095.”
Our Lady of Ardents, or Notre-Dame des Ardents d’Arras in French, is a small, charming red brick Church in the lower part of Town in Arras.. It was built in the beautiful style unique to the twelfth Century, in order to celebrate the appearance of the Blessed Virgin and to commemorate the miraculous assistance, she gave to the people then living in the region. According to Tradition, there was a terrible epidemic that was given the name ‘the hellfire’ that ravaged the countryside in that year of 1105 and all men felt, that they were in the clutches of the specter of Death. The Evil of Ardent, the disease caused a kind of gangrene in the limbs and the strange sickness, caused terrible suffering in all parts of the body and laid low, both men and women and even their children, throughout the whole of the region.
There were, at that time, two minstrels, one named Itier, who lived in Brabant and the other, named Norman, who lived in the Chateau de Saint-Pol. They had vowed a mortal hatred, as Norman had killed Itier’s brother. One night they both had the same dream – the Virgin Mary, dressed in white, appeared to them and told them to go to the Cathedral. Norman, who was closer, arrived first. As he entered the Cathedral he saw all the patients who had taken refuge there. He found the Bishop and told him of the apparition but Bishop Lambert thought that Norman was mocking him and sent him away. Itier arrived the following day and also spoke to the Bishop. When the Bishop told Itier that someone named Norman had come to tell him of the same vision, Itier asked where he was because he intended to kill him on the field, to avenge his brother’s death. Bishop Lambert then understood, that the Blessed Virgin had sent the two men to be reconciled. The Bishop spoke to each separately and then put them in each other’s presence and asked them to give each other, the kiss of peace and then spend the night in prayer, inside the Cathedral.
It was Pentecost Sunday, 28 May 1105, at about three o’clock in the morning, when the Virgin Mary appeared to the two minstrels in the Cathedral. Norman and Itier witnessed a sudden light as the Blessed Virgin descended from the height of the nave, carrying a lighted candle in her hands. She gave the men the candle intended for the healing of the sick and explained to them, what they must do. A few drops of the wax that fell from the candle were to be mingled with water, giving it miraculous properties the people would then drink this water.
All who believed were healed. The two minstrels, now brothers, distributed the miraculous water and the epidemic ceased. There were many prodigies of healing that went on for hundreds of years, especially with wounds, inflammations and ulcers. All of this shows how reconciliation and prayer, are pleasing to God and can precipitate great miracles, as well as ending or preventing wars. The Bishop of Arras wanted to build a Church worthy of Our Lady of Ardents and to receive the relic of the Holy Candle. The Church was consecrated in 1876 just before the definitive establishment of the Third Republic.
This relic, the Holy Candle, can still be seen today. On the eve of Corpus Christi and the four following days, the Holy Candle was lit and shown to the people. It has not diminished! The reliquary of the Holy Candle is a masterpiece of art, which preserves the relic of the Holy Candle. The content of the reliquary has been the object of veneration and every year, it is presented to pilgrims, during the time period which runs between Ascension Thursday and Pentecost.
St Bona of Pisa St Conon the Elder St Conon the Younger St Daganus St Eleutherius of Rocca d’Arce St Felix of Atares St Gerald of Mâcon Bl Gerardesca of Pisa Bl Giles Dalmasia St Hesychius of Antioch St John de Atarés
St Maximinus of Trier (Died c 346)Bishop and Confessor St Maximus of Verona St Restitutus of Rome Bl Richard Thirkeld St Theodosia of Caesarea and Companions St Votus of Atares St William of Cellone
Martyrs of Toulouse: A group of eleven Dominicans, Franciscans, Benedictines, clergy and lay brothers who worked with the Inquisition in southern France to oppose the Albigensian heresy. Basing their operations in a farmhouse outside Avignonet, France, he and his brother missioners worked against heresy. Murdered by Albigensian heretics while singing the Te Deum on the eve of Ascension. They were beaten to death on the night of 28 to 29 May 1242 in the church of Avignonet, Toulouse, France and Beatified on 1 September 1866 by Pope Pius IX (cultus confirmation). • Adhemar • Bernard of Roquefort • Bernard of Toulouse • Fortanerio • Garcia d’Aure • Pietro d’Arnaud • Raymond Carbonius • Raymond di Cortisan • Stephen Saint-Thibery • William Arnaud • the Prior of Avignonet whose name unfortunately has not come down to us. The Church in which they died was placed under interdict as punishment to the locals for the offense. Shortly after the interdict was finally lifted, a large statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary was found on the door step of church. Neither the sculptor nor the patron was ever discovered, nor who delivered it or how. The people took it as a sign that they were forgiven, but that they should never forget, and should renew their devotion to Our Lady. They referred to the image as “Our Lady of Miracles.” Until recently there was a ceremony in the church on the night of the 28th to 29th of May, the anniversary of the martyrdom. Called “The Ceremony of the Vow”, parishioners would gather in the church, kneel with lit candles, and process across the Church on their knees, all the while praying for the souls of the heretics who had murdered the Martyrs.
Martyrs of Trentino: Three missionaries to the Tyrol region of Austria, sent by Saint Ambrose and welcomed by Saint Vigilius of Trent. All were Martyred – Alexander, Martyrius and Sisinius. They were born in Cappadocia and died in 397 in Austria.