Everyday unite your prayers and adorations with those of the Most Holy Virgin and of one of the nine choirs of Angels and Saints, to honour one of the dispositions of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and to practise some virtue in its honour.
THE FOURTH DAY
With the Blessed Virgin, the Dominations and the Holy Martyrs.
Adore the Sacred Heart of Jesus, burning with love for you and implore, as a favour, that your love for the Sacred Heart of Jesus may be increased.
Practice-–Visit the Sacred Heart, as often as possible, to render to it your thanksgiving, for the love it bears for you and to profess your love for it.
Prayer of St Alphonsus Liguori to the Sacred Heart
O Adorable Heart of my Jesus, Heart created expressly. for the love of men! Until now, I have shown towards Thee only ingratitude. Pardon me, O my Jesus. Heart of my Jesus, Abyss of Love and of Mercy, how is it possible, hat I do not die of sorrow when I reflect on Thy Goodness to me and my ingratitude to Thee? Thou, my Creator, after having created me, hast given Thy Blood and Thy Life for me and, not content with this, Thou hast invented a means of offering Thyself everyday for me, in the Holy Eucharist, exposing Thyself to a thousand insults and outrages. Ah, Jesus, do Thou wound my heart with a great contrition for my sins and a lively love for Thee. Through Thy Tears and Thy Blood, give me the grace of perseverance in Thy fervent love, until I breathe my last sigh. Amen.
Thought for the Day – 18 June – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Holy Mass
“The Sacrifice of the Mass is the noblest act of our religion. In it is renewed, in a real but unbloody manner, the Sacrifice of Calvary.
Jesus desired to remain with us throughout the centuries in the Blessed Eucharist as our friend, comforter and spiritual food. Similarly, not being satisfied with having shed His Precious Blood on the Cross for our Redemption, it was His wish that this sacrificial action should be renewed daily in every corner of the world, in such a way, that everyone could participate in it and benefit from it. When we are present at Holy Mass, therefore, we should imagine that we are on Calvary at the foot of the Cross on which our Divine Redeemer is voluntarily giving His Life, as an innocent Victim, for our sins. Let us see Him hanging between earth and sky, a holocaust of propitiation between God and men. Let us see Him imploring with His dying glance, forgiveness for His executioners and for us sinners.
Let us imagine, moreover, His most Holy Mother as she gazes sorrowfully upon her suffering Son. With love far greater than that of any other human creature, she offers herself in union with Jesus, for our salvation.
We should make a similar offering when we assist at the Sacrifice of the Altar. We should sacrifice ourselves along with Jesus. If we are tormented by sufferings, let us offer them up along with those of Jesus. If we are troubled by passionate inclinations to sin, let us sacrifice these bravely, along with Jesus and for love of Him. If we are full of hatred and coldness towards others, let us sacrifice these feelings for love of Jesus, Who forgave everyone who asked and repented and prayed even for His executioners.
Let us remember, that the Sacrifice of the Mass should be our sacrifice too, It is not only the Priest who offers it but we offer it along with the Priest and with Jesus. “Receive, O Holy Trinity, this oblation which we make to Thee.” Let us unite the offering of our entire selves to the Sacrifice of Jesus and we sgall obtain great spiritual benefits.”
Quote/s of the Day – 18 June – the Memorial of St Ephrem of Syria (306-373) Confessor, Father and Doctor of the Church
“Our Lord chose Matthew, the tax collector, to encourage his fellows to join him. He looked on sinners, called them and brought them to sit beside Him. What a wonderful sight! Angels stand trembling, while publicans, seated, rejoice!”
“But the bread of Moses was not perfect, it was only given to the Israelites. Because He wanted to show, that His gift is superior to that of Moses and the call to the nations still more perfect, our Lord said: “If anyone eats this bread he shall live forever,” for the bread from God “has come down from heaven” and is given to the whole world (Jn 6:51).”
O Lord and Master of My Life By Saint Ephrem (306-373) Father & Doctor of the Church
O Lord and Master of my life, give me not a spirit of sloth, vain curiosity, lust for power and idle talk. But give to me, Thy servant, a spirit of soberness, humility, patience and love. O Lord and King, grant me to see my own faults and not to condemn my brother. For blessed art Thou to the ages of ages. Amen O God, be merciful to me a sinner. O God, cleanse me, a sinner. O God, my Creator, save me and for my many sins forgive me!
O Pure and Immaculate Blessed Virgin By St Ephrem (306-373) Father and Doctor of the Church
O Pure and Immaculate and likewise Blessed Virgin, who art the sinless Mother of thy Son, the mighty Lord of the universe, thou who art inviolate and altogether holy, the hope of the hopeless and sinful, we sing thy praises. We bless thee, as full of every grace, thou who didst bear the God-Man: we bow low before thee; we invoke thee and implore thine aid. Rescue us, O holy and inviolate Virgin, from every necessity that presses upon us and from all the temptations of the devil. Be our intercessor and advocate at the hour of death and judgement, deliver us from the fire that is not extinguished and from the outer darkness; make us worthy of the glory of thy Son, O dearest and most clement Virgin Mother. Thou indeed art our only hope most sure and sacred in God’s sight, to Whom be honour and glory and majesty and dominion forever and ever, world without end. Amen
One Minute Reflection – 18 June – “The Month of the Sacred Heart of Jesus” – Saturday within the Octave of Cprpus Chris and the Memorial of St Ephrem of Syria (306-373) Confessor, Father and Doctor of the Church – 1 Corinthians 23-29, John 6:56-59.
“As the living Father has sent Me and as I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also shall live because of Me.” – John 6:58
REFLECTION – “We believe that the Word became Flesh and that we receive His Flesh in the Lord’s Supper. How then can we fail to believe, that He really dwells within us? When He became Man, He actually clothed Himself in our flesh, uniting it to Himself forever. In the Sacrament of His Body, He actually gives us His own Flesh, which He has united to His Divinity. This is why we are all one because the Father is in Christ and Christ is in us. He is in us through His Flesh and we are in Him. With Him, we form a Unity, which is in God.
The manner of our indwelling in Him through the Sacrament of His Body and Blood, is evident from the Lord’s own Words: This world will see Me no longer but you shall see Me. Because I live ,you shall live also, for I am in My Father, you are in Me and I am in you. If it had been a question of mere unity of will, why should He have given us this explanation of the steps, by which it is achieved? He is in the Father by reason of His Divine Nature, we are in Him by reason of His Human Birth and He is in us, through the Mystery of the Sacraments. This, surely, is what He wished us to believe; this is how He wanted us to understand the perfect Unity that is achieved through our Mediator, Who lives in the Father, while we live in Him and Who,, while living in the Father, lives also in us. This is how we attain to Unity with the Father. Christ is in very truth in the Father by His Eternal Generation; we are in very truth, in Christ and He likewise is in us.
Christ Himself bore witness to the reality of His Unity, when He said: He who eats My Flesh and drinks My Blood, lives in Me and I in him. No-one will be in Christ, unless Christ Himself has been in him; Christ will take to Himself only the Flesh of those who have received His Flesh.
He had already explained the Mystery of this perfect Unity, when He said: As the living Father sent Me and I draw life from the Father, so he who eats My Flesh will draw life from Me. We draw life from His Flesh, just as He draws life from the Father. Such comparisons aid our understanding, since we can grasp a point more easily, when we have an analogy. And the point is that Christ is the well-spring of our life. Since we, who are in the flesh, have Christ dwelling in us through His Flesh, we shall draw life from Him in the same way, in which He draws life from the Father.” – St Hilary of Poitiers (315-368) Bishop of Poitiers , Father and Doctor of the Divinity of Christ (An excerpt from his On the Trinity).
PRAYERS – O God, Who willed to enlighten Thy Church by the wondrous learning and glorious merits of the life of blessed Ephrem, Thy Confessor and Doctor, we humbly pray Thee that, by his pleading, Thou will shield her with Thy lasting power, against the snares of error and evil. 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). HEART of JESUS burning with love of us, inflame our hearts with love of Thee. – 100 Days, once a day. (See Instructions. – Unless otherwise stated, e.g., “once a day,” a partial Indulgence may be gained any number of times in succession.) [169 Raccolta or Collection of Indulgences, 1910] Pope Leo XIII, 16 July 1893.
Our Morning Offering – 18 June – The Memorial of St Ephrem of Syria (306-373) Father and Doctor of the Church
O Mary, Mother of God By St Ephrem of Syria (306-373) Father and Doctor of the Church
O Virgin most pure, wholly unspotted, O Mary, Mother of God, Queen of the universe, thou art above all the saints, the hope of the elect and the joy of all the blessed. It is thou who hast reconciled us with God; thou art the only refuge of sinners and the safe harbour of those who are shipwrecked; thou art the consolation of the world, the ransom of captives, the health of the weak, the joy of the afflicted and the salvation of all. We have recourse to thee and we beseech thee to have pity on us. Amen.
Saint of the Day – 18 June – St Ephrem of Syria (306-373) – “The Harp of the Holy Spirit!” Father & Doctor of the Church, Confessor, Deacon and Confessor, Apostle of the Poor and Needy, Exegesist, Writer, Poet, Hymnographer, Theologian, Teacher, Orator, Defender of the Faith – declared Doctor of the Church in 1920 by Pope Benedict XV. Born in c306 at Nisibis, Mesopotamia (in modern Syria) and died on 9 June 373 at Edessa (in modern Iraq) of natural causes. Patronages – spiritual directors, spiritual leaders, Armenea. Also known as – Ephrem of Edessa, Ephrem the Syrian, Ephraem…, Ephraim…, Ephraem Syrus, Deacon of Edessa, Jefrem Sirin, “Sun of the Syrians.”
St Ephrem, Confessor By Fr Francis Xavier Weninger SJ (1805-1888)
His sanctity is demonstrated in the many virtues with which he was endowed, amongst which chastity, deep humility and untiring benevolence towards the poor, shine most brilliantly.
Under this day’s date is also mentioned, in the Roman Book of Martyrs, St Ephrem, a Deacon of the Church of Edessa, in Syria and great praise is bestowed on his wisdom and virtue, as well as his labour on behalf of the Christian Faith. His work consisted partly, in verbally teaching the Christians and partly, in refuting the doctrines of the heretics, whose leader and teacher he boldly opposed and publicly confuted.
Apollinarius, an arch-heretic, had written his heresy in two books and had given them into the charge of a notable woman of his party. Ephrem, having become acquainted with this woman, requested the loan of these books, as he wished to study thoroughly the doctrine of Apollinarius. The woman, who thought that Ephrem desired to adopt these doctrines, permitted him to have the books. As soon, however, as the Saint became convinced of the impiety of the work, he pasted the leaves together in such a manner, that they could not be separated. He then returned the books to the woman, who did not perceive what he had done, as the outside was unimpaired. Just at this time it happened, that Apollinarius was called to a public disputation. As he, on account of his defective memory, was unable to speak much, he had his books brought, in order that one of his followers might read his doctrines out of them. The books were brought, the heretic proceeds to open them but finds the leaves are pasted together and that, in consequence, they are of no service to him. Unable to dispute verbally, he stood for a long time immovable, deeply ashamed. At last, he ran away and, not long after this event, expired most miserably.
As far as the teachings of St Ephrem are concerned, they exist to this hour in the splendid works he has left. In former times, they were so highly esteemed that they were read aloud in the Churches, after the Gospel, for the edification of the people. In these works much is to be found that the holy man said in praise of the Blessed Virgin, as also many prayers in which he invoked her: a proof that already, in the first centuries, the Mother of our Saviour was honoured and invoked.
One day an immoral woman tried to seduce him. Ephrem seemed to lend her a willing ear and said: “ If I consent to fulfil your desire, you must consent that I select the place for our meeting.” “Where shall it be? Where shall we meet?” asked the shameless woman. “In the public market,” replied he. “Oh! not there,” said she; “we should be ashamed of the people who are there.” This was the answer that the pure servant of God wished to obtain and he said to her, full of deep earnestness: “Unhappy woman! when the eyes of men are upon you, you are ashamed and will not commit evil; why then, are you not ashamed of the Lord your God, Who is everywhere and Who not only sees and knows everything but Who also punishes with the everlasting fire of hell all vices? How much more should His Presence deter you from the commission of sin?“
It needed no more to bring the unchaste woman to the knowledge and repentance of her corruption. Ephrem placed her in a Convent, where she did most severe penance until her death, never weary of thanking him, again and again, for the benevolence he had shown to her. Just as the holy man, on this occasion, evinced his love of purity, so he manifested, on many others, his deep humility.
When it was intended to elect him Bishop, he to evade this dignity, pretended insanity and, hiding in a corner, remained until another was elected. So far from valuing the praises of men, he even regarded those who lauded him as his enemies, while he loved, as his best friends, those who despised him.
In his last will he ordered that he should not be honoured with music, or a costly shroud, or a panegyric; neither did he desire to be buried in a Church but requested to be laid among the poor, to whom he had been more attached than a father to his children. During a great famine, he himself collected from the wealthy, corn and other provisions, divided them among the starving people and assisted them wherever he could, day and night, with untiring kindness. Many other instances of his great charity, which are recorded by the holy Father Saints, Gregory of Nyssa, Basil, Chrysostom, and Jerome, I have to pass over. Only one more will I mention, which the Saint related of himself.
When a boy, his parents one day sent him somewhere out of the City. Passing through a wood, he saw a cow, belonging to a poor man. Out of mischief, he pelted her so long with stones that she fell to the ground, dead. Four weeks later, his parents sent him again out of the City. Night overtook him on the road and the shepherds, whose flock was in the wood, having compassion on him, invited him into their hut, with the understanding that he should continue his journey on the following day. Ephrem accepted the offered hospitality and remained with them through the night. But just before morning, the sheep of those men were attacked by wolves and widely dispersed. The shepherds, believing that this was the work of thieves and that Ephrem was one of them, made him prisoner and brought him before the Judge, who immediately ordered him to be thrown into prison.
At the same time, two other men were also incarcerated, of whom one was charged with homicide, the other with adultery. Ephrem wept bitter tears at suffering thus innocently. After forty days his Guardian Angel appeared to him and asked what he was doing there. Ephrem related to him the circumstances and declared his innocence. The Angel said: “ I know that you are innocent, but the cruelty with which, some time ago, you treated the cow of a poor man is also known to me. Therefore, you must atone for that wrong now, just as those two men, who are also innocent of the crimes for which they are imprisoned, suffer this present punishment for sins formerly committed. Learn from this, that God is just and that He leaves no evil deed unpunished!” Ephrem, coming thus to the knowledge of his fault, repented and received a promise, that he should be set free and, in fact, soon after, regained his liberty. This event induced him to devote himself entirely to the service of the Almighty.
Ripe in years, he ended his holy life c 373. Below is the Statue of St Ephrem on the North Colonnade at St Peter’s. It was installed in c 1662-1667. The Sculptor is unknown but it is known that he created 3 Statues at that time. The Saint looks into a book that he holds with his left hand. The right hand holds a palm.
St Abraham of Clermont St Alena of Dilbeek St Amandus of Bordeaux St Arcontius of Brioude St Athenogenes of Pontus St Calogero of Sicily St Calogerus of Fragalata St Calogerus the Anchorite St Colman mac Mici St Cyriacus of Malaga St Demetrius of Fragalata St Edith of Aylesbury
St Elpidius of Brioude St Equizio of Telese St Erasmo St Etherius of Nicomedia Bl Euphemia of Altenmünster St Fortunatus the Philosopher St Gerland of Caltagirone St Gregory of Fragalata Blessed Hermann of Floreffe O.Praem (Early 12th Century- 1193) Abbot and Canon of the Premonstratensians or Norbertines. St Guy of Baume St Jerome of Vallumbrosa St Marina of Alexandria St Marina of Bithynia Bl Marina of Spoleto
St Osanna of Northumberland St Osmanna of Jouarre St Paula of Malaga Bl Peter Sanchez
Hermits of Karden: A father (Felicio) and his two sons (Simplicio and Potentino) who became pilgrim to various European holy places and then hermits at Karden (modern Treis-Karden, Germany). (Born in Aquitaine (in modern France. ) Their relics transferred to places in the Eifel region of western Germany at some point prior to 930. They were canonised on 12 August 1908 by Pope Pius X (cultus confirmation).
Martyrs of Ravenna – 4 Saints: A group of four Christians Martyred together. We have no details but their names – Crispin, Cruciatus, Emilius and Felix. They were martyred in Ravenna, Italy, date unknown.
Martyrs of Rome – 3 Saints: Three Christians Martyred together . We have no details but their names – Cyriacus, Paul and Thomas. In Rome, Italy, date unknown.
Martyrs of Tripoli – 3 Saints: Three imperial Roman soldiers, at last two of them recent converts, who were imprisoned, tortured and executed for their faith. Martyrs – Hypatius, Leontius and Theodulus. They were Greek born and they died c135 at Tripoli, Phoenicia (in modern Lebanon).