Pentecost Novena to the Holy Spirit for the Seven Gifts
Light immortal! Light Divine! Visit Thou these hearts of Thine, And our inmost being fill!
THE GIFT OF KNOWLEDGE
The Gift of Knowledge enables the soul to evaluate created things, at their true worth, in their relationship to God. Knowledge unmasks the pretence of creatures, reveals their emptiness and points out their only true purpose, as instruments, in the service of God. It shows us the loving care of God, even in adversity and directs us to glorify Him in every circumstance of life. Guided by its light, we put first things first, and prize the friendship of God, beyond all else. “Knowledge is a fountain of life to him that possesseth it.”
Come, O Blessed Spirit of Knowledge and grant that I may perceive the Will of the Father; show me the nothingness of earthly things, that I may realise their vanity and use them, only for Your glory and my own salvation, looking ever beyond them to You and Your eternal rewards. 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 – 31 May – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Pray for Us … at the Hour of Our Death
“Our divine Redeemer, although He was God and did not except Himself from the law of death. It was appropriate, therefore, that His divine Mother should have been no exception either. But Mary had shared in the torments of her Son’s death upon Calvary and so obtained from Him, the privilege of a death so sweet and gentle, as hardly to justify the name at all. Her soul was separated from her body as if in an ecstasy of love and was united even more indissolubly with God. She did not die of a natural disease but, out of love for God. She had always loved God with all the ardour of the noblest of creatures and her life ended in a final outpouring of love. It was the climax of a continuous ascent towards God.
Death should be like this for us too. It can be like this if we follow her example, especially in the boundlessness of her love for God.
O Mary, my tender Mother, be at my side throughout my life but especially at the hour of death. Shelter me beneath your maternal mantle and never let me be far apart from you. Grant that I may have a calm and peaceful death like yours, a death made easy by a great love for Jesus and for you, as well as by the reception of the Holy Sacraments and by your special blessing, amen.”
Quote/s of the Day – 31 May – The Queenship of Mary
“If the Son is a King, the Mother who begot him is rightly and truly considered a Queen and Sovereign.”
St Athanasius (297-373) Father and Doctor of the Church
“She is the eldest daughter of the Great King. If you enjoy her favour, she will introduce you to the Monarch of the Universe. No-one has so great an interest with Him than Mary, who was the occasion of His coming down from Heaven to become man, for the redemption of mankind.”
St John the Merciful (c 552-c 616)
“And as Queen, she possesses, by right, the whole Kingdom of her Son.”
Rupert of Deutz OSB (c 1075- c 1130) Benedictine Abbot
“So Mary is a Queen. And, for our consolation, we ought to remember that she is a most tender and kind Queen, eager to help us in our miseries. So much so, that the Church wants us to call her in this prayer, a Queen of Mercy. Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy!”
St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) Most Zealous Doctor
One Minute Reflection – 31 May – The Queenship of Mary – Eccli 24:5; 14:7; 14:9-11; 24:30-31, Luke 1:26-33
“Hail, full of grace!”– Luke 1:28
REFLECTION – “Observe how fitting it was that even before her Assumption, the name of Mary shone forth wondrously throughout the world. Her fame spread everywhere, even before she was raised above the heavens in her magnificence. Because of the honour due her Son, it was indeed fitting, for the Virgin Mother, to have first ruled upon earth and then be raised up to Heaven in glory. It was fitting that her fame be spread in this world below, so that she might enter the heights of Heaven on overwhelming blessedness. Just as she was borne from virtue to virtue, by the Spirit of the Lord, she was transported from earthly renown, to Heavenly brightness.
So it was, that she began to taste the fruits of her future reign, while still in the flesh. At one moment she withdrew to God in ecstasy; at the next she would bend down to her neighbours with indescribable love. In Heaven Angels served her, while here on earth, she was venerated by the service of men. Gabriel and the Angels waited upon her in Heaven. The virgin John, rejoicing that the Virgin Mother was entrusted to him at the Cross, cared for her with the other Apostles here below. The Angels rejoiced to see their Queen, the Apostles rejoiced to see their lady and both obeyed her, with loving devotion.
… Therefore, when the Virgin of virgins was led forth by God and her Son, the King of kings. amid the company of exulting Angels and rejoicing Archangels, with the Heavens ringing with praise, the prophecy of the psalmist was fulfilled, in which he said to the Lord: At your right hand stands the Queen, clothed in gold of Ophir.” – St Amadeus of Lausanne O.Cist (1108-1159) Bishop (Excerpt from a Sermon on Mary)
PRAYER – Grant we beseech Thee, O Lord, that we who keep the Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Queen, safe under her protection, may be worthy to have peace now and glory, in the future. 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 – 31 May – The Queenship of Mary
Queen on Whose Starry Brow Doth Rest By St Venantius Fortunatus (c 530-c 609) Translation by Monsignor Ronald A Knox (1888 – 1957)
Queen, on whose starry brow doth rest The crown of perfect maidenhood, The God who made thee, from thy brest Drew, for our sakes, His earthly food.
The grace that sinful Eve denied, With thy Child-bearing, re-appears; Heaven’s lingering door, set open wide, Welcomes the children of her tears.
Fate, for such royal progress meet, Beacon, whose rays such light can give, Look, how the ransomed nations greet The virgin-womb that bade them live!
O Jesus, whom the Virgin bore, Be praise and glory unto Thee. Praise to the Father evermore And His life-giving Spirit be. Amen!
Saint Venantius Fortunatus (c 530 – c 609) Bishop, Poet, Hymnist, Writer – born c 530 at Rreviso, Italy and died c 609 at Poitiers, modern France of natural causes. St Venantius was unique, first a travelling lay poet, he later became a Priest and then a Bishop. But he always remained a professional author of poetry, a “Troubadour” of Christ. He is the attributed author of the Ave Maris Stella, amongst many others.
Saint of the Day – 31 May – Blessed James Salomoni OP (1231-1314) Priest of the Order of Preachers, “Father of the Poor,” “Apostle of the Afflicted,” Miracle-worker graced with the ability to cure sickness. Born as Giacomo Salomoni in 1231 at Venice, Italy and died on 31 March 1314 of cancer at Forli, Italy. Patronages – cancer patients, of the sick. Also known as James the Venetian, Giacomo Salomonio, surname spelled variously as Salomone, Salomonelli, Salomonius,
James was born in Venice, in 1231, the only child of noble parents. His father died when he was very young and his mother became a Cistercian nun, leaving him to the care of his grandmother. She did well by her orphaned grandson and James became a good and studious boy, who responded eagerly to any spiritual suggestions.
Under the direction of a Cistercian Monk, he learned to meditate and on the Monk’s counsel, James became a Dominican at the Convent of Sts John and Paul, in Venice, as soon as he was old enough. He gave most of his money to the poor and arrived at the Convent with just enough left, to buy a few books. Seeing that one of the Lay Brothers there was in need of clothing, he gave his final small sum to the him and entered empty-handed.
James wore the Dominican habit with dignity and piety, if not with any worldly distinction, for sixty-six years. He was humble and good and obedient and there was nothing spectacular about his spirituality. He was well-known for his direction of souls but he fled, even from the distinction this work brought him.
Even his retiring habits did not protect him, for the people of Venice beat a path to his door. In self -defence, he transferred to another house, that of Forli. This was a house of strict observance and very poor. Nothing could suit him better. For the remainder of his life he worked and prayed in Forli, going out to visit the sick in the hospitals and spending long hours in the Confessional. His charity to the poor and the sick gave the name ” Father of the Poor.”
God granted James the grace of miracles during his lifetime. Once, while he was hearing the confession of a pious woman, she saw the Holy Spirit, in the form of a white dove, sitting on his shoulder and whispering into his ear. Another time, a young girl was cured through his prayer for her, of a terrible cancer on her leg.
James was himself afflicted with cancer, during the last four years of his life. At his death, the cancerous wound on his chest disappeared, leaving only a faint scar and from it arose a fragrant aroma.
He died on 31 May 1314, in his eighty-third year. His relics now lie in the Basilica of Sts John and Paul in Venice.
Devotion to Blessed James has been approved and encouraged by several Popes. In 1526 he was officiallt Beatified by Pope Clement VII
O BLESSED JAMES, during your life you received, with utmost tenderness, those who came to you with their afflictions of body and soul, consoling them even to the point of working miracles on their behalf. Now that you are in Heaven, listen to my poor prayers and out of your goodness, help me in my needs with your unfailing intercession.
(Here state your intentions)
Obtain for me, I beg you, the grace to imitate your virtues, especially your generous love of God and neighbour, your profound humility, your tender devotion to our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament and to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Obtain for me too, patience in adversity, fortitude in suffering and preserve me from those dreadful ills against which you are invoked as a special protector.
May your assistance help me to live a holy life on earth, so that I may deserve to be with you some day in the glory of Heaven. AMEN
Mary is Queen by grace, divine relationship, right of conquest and singular election. Coming as a crowning event in the beautiful month of May, the Queenship of Mary, we welcome this Feast with spiritual affection and experience a sense of deep interior peace, as we gather in her presence, to rededicate ourselves to our loving Mother and Queen. The Introit of the Mass for the day tells us: “Let us all rejoice in the Lord as we celebrate the feast in honour of our Queen, the Blessed Virgin Mary, on whose solemnity the Angels rejoice and join in praising the Son of God. Alleluia, alleluia.”
The Queenship of Mary is not an empty title or an honourary distinction, showing forth her excellence of virtue, of grandeur, sanctity or glory. Mary is truly a Queen as can be seen in the Gospel of the Mass – the Angel Gabriel greeted Mary with the most startling words ever addressed to a child of Adam: “Hail thou who art full of grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou among women.” Then he continues, “Do not be afraid; thou hast found favour in the sight of God. And thou shalt bear a son and call Him Jesus. He shall be great and men will know Him for the Son of God, the Most High; the Lord will give Him the throne of his father David and He shall reign over the house of Jacob eternally; His kingdom shall never end.” Here is the foundation of our belief in the Queenship of Mary – her Divine Motherhood; – she conceived a King, the King!
Mary is “Queen by grace” because she was immaculately conceived, preserved from the slightest taint of sin, while her soul was literally inundated with divine grace. “Hail, thou art full of grace.”
She is “Queen by divine relationship” for she is related in the first degree of consanguinity in the direct line to Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, the Son of God. A Queen Mother is one, whose son later becomes king. Mary’s Child, however at the moment of His conception and then His birth, was already a King, the King of the world. Spiritual writers point out for our consolation, that Mary’s maternal relationship to Jesus was more exclusive than any other mother, since He had no human father.
Our Lady is Queen also “by right of conquest;” Our Lord by His Passion and Death recaptured the human race from the slavery of Satan, conquering all as a King. Calvary was the scene of this conquest. Mary, at the foot of the Cross, shared intimately with Him in His Sacrifice and the fruits of the Redemption.
At first it may be somewhat difficult to picture Mary as a Queen, since we think in terms of royalty of the world; yet, when we think of the souls who preceded us in the household of the Faith and glance at Christian art, as it sings of her Queenship, it is not difficult at all.
Majestically, Christ said to Pilate, “My Kingdom is not of this world,” so, too, Our Lady acknowledges herself in humility as a Queen whom all generations call blessed but she, too, would add, “my kingdom is not of this world.” In the Litany of Our Lady, we address her as Queen of Angels, Patriarchs, Prophets, Martyrs, Confessors, Virgins; of Peace, of the Most Holy Rosary; conceived without original sin and, Queen assumed into Heaven. Catholic art represents her, crowned with a diadem holding a scepter, seated on a throne.
The purpose of this Feast, the Queenship of Mary, is to stir up renewed love and devotion to her, to gather before her throne in Heaven and humbly offer her our homage, unreserved, totally, prayerfully and with the simplicity of abandonment, which characterises a devoted child – “Reign over hearts and minds of men that they seek what is true; over their wills, to follow solely the good; over their hearts, to love nothing but what you love…that man may seek and know the truth and follow what is good, Oh Queen!”
St Crescentian of Sassari St Donatian of Cirta St Felice of Nicosia St Galla of Auvergne St Hermias of Comana Bl Jacob Chu Mun-mo Blessed James Salomoni OP (1231-1314) Priest of the Order of Preachers St Juan Moya Collado Bl Kasper Gerarz St Lupicinus of Verona St Mancus of Cornwall Bl Mariano of Roccacasale St Mechtildis of Edelstetten St Myrbad of Cornwall Bl Nicolas Barré Bl Nicholaus of Vangadizza Bl Nicholaus of Vaucelles St Nowa Mawaggali St Paschasius of Rome St Petronilla of Rome Bl Robert Thorpe St Silvio of Toulouse Bl Thomas Watkinson Bl Vitalis of Assisi St Winnow of Cornwall
Martyrs of Aquileia – 3 Saints: Three young members of the imperial Roman nobility and who were raised in a palace and had Saint Protus of Aquileia as tutor and catechist. To escape the persecutions of Diocletian, the family sold their property and moved to Aquileia, Italy. However, the authorities there quickly ordered them to sacrifice to idols; they refused. Martyrs all – Cantianilla, Cantian and Cantius. They were beheaded in 304 at Aquae-Gradatae (modern San-Cantiano) just outside Aquileia, Italy.
Martyrs of Gerona – 29 Saints: A group of Christians Martyred together in Gerona, Catalonia, Spain, date unknown. No details about them have survived but the names – • Agapia• Amelia• Castula• Cicilia• Donatus• Firmus• Fortunata• Gaullenus• Germanus• Honorius• Istialus• Justus• Lautica• Lupus • Maxima• Paulica• Rogate• Rogatus• Silvanus• Tecla• Teleforus• Tertula• Tertus• Victoria• Victurinus• Victurus
Martyrs of the Via Aurelia – 4 Saints: Four Christians Martyred together. No information about them has survived except their names – Justa, Lupus, Tertulla and Thecla. The martyrdom occurred in 69 on the Via Aurelia near Rome, Italy.