Novena in Honour of The Seven Offerings of the Precious Blood of Jesus
(An Indulgence of 3 years–Pius VII, 1817)
THE FIRST DAY
Eternal Father, I offer thee the merits of the Precious Blood of Jesus, Thy beloved Son, my Saviour and my God, for the spread and exaltation of my dear Mother, Thy holy Church, for the preservation and welfare of her visible Head, the true sovereign Roman Pontiff, for the Cardinals, Bishops and Pastors of souls and for all the Priests of the Sanctuary.
Glory be to the Father, etc.
Blessed and praised for evermore, be Jesus Who hath saved us with His Blood!
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 EIGHTH DAY
With the Blessed Virgin, the Archangels and the Holy Innocents.
Adore the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which is sensibly afflicted with the outrages and impieties of those who are rebels to the Church and good morals and, which desires to find faithful Christians, who will endeavour to repair these disorders.
Practice-–Perform some penance, some generous act of virtue, in reparation for the outrages which He receives.
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, that 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 – 22 June – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“For the practice of daily Communion, however, we should have the approval of our Confessor. We should be fully determined to preserve ourselves free from every sin, especially from grave sin, for otherwise, we could not approach the Eucharistic banquet (if anyone receives Jesus with mortal sin on his soul, he commits a terrible sacrilege). This practice, moreover, should help us to avoid every deliberate imperfection and venial sin and should inspire in us, a lively spirit of Christian charity. “Receive Communion everyday,” said St Augustine, “because it will help you everyday … but you must live in a manner which will entitle you to communicate daily” (De Verbo Domini – Sermon 28).
Frequent Communion, therefore, will enable us to set out upon the road to perfection, without relaxing in our resolution and without any false scruples. “Two kinds of people,” wrote st Francis de Sales, “should receive Communion frequently – the perfect and the imperfect; the perfect in order to preserve their holiness; the imperfect, in order to reach perfection.” (Introduction to the Devout Life c 2).
Let us ask the advice of our regular Confessor. We shall be fortunate if we can approach the Sacred Banquet everyday, or at least very often, for we shall be sure that we are on the path to holiness.”
Quote/s of the Day – 22 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – The Memorial of St Paulinus of Nola (c 354-431) Bishop, Confessor, Father.
“To my mind, the only art, is the Faith and Christ is my Poetry.”
“It is not surprising if, despite being far apart, we are present to each other and without being acquainted, know each other because, we are members of One Body, we have One Head, we are steeped in One Grace, we live on One Loaf, we walk on One Road and we dwell in the Same House!”
One Minute Reflection – 22 June – “The Month of the Sacred Heart of Jesus” – Within the Octave of Corpus Christi and the Memorial of St Paulinus of Nola (c 354-431) Bishop, Confessor – 1 Corinthians 23-29, John 6:56-59.
“ … For he who eats and drinks unworthily, … eats and drinks judgement upon himself.”- 1 Corinthians 29
REFLECTION – “Christ has hidden enemies. All those who live unjust and irreligious lives are Christ’s enemies, even if they are signed with His Name and are called ‘Christians’ I mean the ones to whom he is going to say, “I do not know you” and they say to him, “Lord, in your name we ate and drank. In your name, we performed many deeds of power. What did we eat and drink in your name?”
You see that they did not value their food very highly and yet, it was with reference to It, that they said they belonged to Christ. Christ is the Food that is eaten and drunk. Even Christ’s enemies eat and drink Him! The faithful know the Lamb without spot on which they feed, if only they fed on It in such a way that they are not liable to punishment! The Apostle says, “Whoever eats and drinks unworthily is eating and drinking judgment upon himself.” – St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of Grace (Sermon 308).
PRAYER – O God, Who promised to those who forsake all things in this world for Thee, a hundred-fold reward in the world to come and life everlasting, mercifully grant that, following closely in the footsteps of the holy Bishop, Paulinus, we may look upon earthly things as nought and long only for those of Heaven. Who lives and reigns with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen (Collect). SWEET HEART of my JESUS, Make me love Thee ever more and more! – Indulgence 300 Days Everytime – Plenary Once a Month – Raccolta 162 – Pope Pius IX 26 November 1876.
Our Morning Offering – 22 June – “The Month of the Sacred Heart of Jesus”
Be my Strength, O Sacred Heart! By St Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690) Visionary of the Sacred Heart
O Sacred Heart of Jesus, I fly to You, I unite myself with You, I enclose myself in You! Receive my call for help, O my Saviour, as a sign of my horror of all within me, contrary to Your holy love. Let me die rather a thousand times, than consent to sin against You! Be my strength, O God – defend me, protect me. I am Yours and desire forever to be Yours! Amen
Saint of the Day – 22 June – St Paulinus of Nola (c 354-431) Bishop, Confessor, Poet, Writer, Apostle of Charity, Preacher, distinguished lawyer who hHeld several public offices in the Empire as Orator, Senator and Governor before his retirement from public life and his dedication to the service of God.
The Roman Martyrology reads of him today: “At Nola, in Campania, the birthday of the blessed Paulinus, Bishop and Confessor, who, although a most noble and wealthy man, made himself poor and humble for Christ. And, what is still more admirable, became a slave to liberate a widow’s son, who had been carried to Africa by the Vandals, when they devastated Canpania. He was celebrated, not only for his learning and exceptional holiness of life but, also for his power over the demons. His great merit has been extolled by Saints Ambrose, Jerome, Augustine and Gregory, in their writings. His body, at first transferred to Benevento and thence to Rome, was restored to Nola by Order of Pius X.”
St Paulinus, Bishop of Nola By Fr Francis Xavier Weninger SJ (1805-1888)
St Paulinus, who, on account of his great learning and eloquence but still more, on account of his virtues, is highly praised by St Ambrose, St Augustine, St Jerome and St Gregory, was a native of Bordeaux, in the Province of Gascony. His parents, who were Romans and very rich and of ancient nobility, desired that their son should be as eminent for intelligence and knowledge, as he was on account of his birth and fortune. Their desire was fulfilled, for, when Paulinus had reached the age of manhood, he was not only honoured and admired, by everyone but, was chosen Prefect and Governor of Rome and gained great fame for the wisdom of his administration. The pious Paulinus, however, soon became tired of all worldly honours and pleasures and, having resigned his Office, he went to Barcelona in Spain, to serve God without disturbance.
Having remained there for some time, he returned to Italy. At that time, St Ambrose was the Bishop of Milan and to him, Paulinus applied for advice, with regard to the change he intended to make in his life. Having received the Saint’s directions, he went to Nola, in Campania, as he entertained special reverence towards St Felix, Priest and Martyr, of that City. There, he humbled himself so deeply, that for some time he occupied the office of Sacristan. Afterwards he sold his estates and having used a part of the money in building a Church at Fundi, he gave the remainder to the poor. He then proceeded to a little village in the neighbourhood of Nola, changed his rich garments for humble clothing and commenced to lead the life of a Hermit in a poor little hut, deriving all his sustenance from alms.
But, although Paulinus kept himself secluded, it yet became known who he was and whence he came and not only Nola but all Italy, was astonished, that so great and eminent a man, had chosen for his walk through life, such an humble and, in the eyes of the world, such a despised path. The esteem in which he was then held by both clergy and laity, was so great, that, on the death of the Bishop of Nola, they determined to raise him to the Episcopal chair. It was long before the humble servant of God could be persuaded to accept the dignity but having at last consented, his love, his solicitude for his flock, the zeal he displayed for the honour of God, made him beloved by men and favoured by the Almighty.
Soon after his election to the See, Campania suffered the fate of many other countries and was laid waste by the Goths and many of its inhabitants were taken prisoners. The holy Bishop used all his income to feed the poor and ransom the captives. When all his resources were exhausted, Nola was plundered and the great servant of the Almighty, with several others, was taken prisoner. God, however, so ordained, that he was speedily released. Some years afterwards, the Vandals crossed the ocean and, again plundering the Kingdom of Naples, took away many of the inhabitants as prisoners. Among these were several persons from Nola and although St.Paulinus exerted himself to the utmost to redeem them from prison, he was unable to help all.
This extremity gave the holy Bishop an opportunity for an act of charity which had never before been witnessed in the world. St Gregory himself relates the event as follows: “A poor widow, coming to the Saint, complained with bitter tears, that her only son, who was all the support she had, was taken prisoner and begged him not to refuse her the money she needed for his ransom. The Saint, deeply affected, answered: “My dear daughter, I have not anything left but to ransom your son, I will sell myself. I will go with you and you must say that you give me instead of your son, in order that he may return to you.” The widow, unspeakably surprised at the Saint’s offer, hesitated to accept it but Paulinus knew how to overcome her remonstrances and, at last persuaded her to consent to his plan. He travelled with her to Africa, where her son had already arrived and the Saint, clad in the garment of a slave, was exchanged for the widow’s son, the latter being set at liberty. Paulinus was charged with the care of a garden, as he said that he was able to perform that work and God blessed his endeavours in such a manner, that everything grew most wonderfully under his hands.
A near relative of the King, who was a great lover of horticulture, came frequently into the garden and speaking with the new gardener, soon observed that he was more than an ordinary labourer. Paulinus one day whispered to him in a prophetic spirit: “Have a care for the future. Thy King will soon be a corpse. Act in time and take all proper measures in the affairs of the Crown.” The gentleman, greatly terrified at this speech, informed the King of it, who desired to see Paulinus.
Fear bedewed the King’s face with great drops of sweat when the Saint appeared before him. for, he had had a dream in the night, in which it appeared to him that he stood before the Divine Judgement-seat and heard the sentence: “The scourge given to him shall again be taken from his hands.” Among the judges, the king said, he had seen the man now standing before him. After this, he gave orders to inquire into the history of this gardener. At first, Paulinus would not confess who he was but, as they insisted on knowing and he thought it might promote the honour of God, he revealed his name and also how he had become a slave. The king, admiring his virtue, immediately gave him his liberty and told him he would grant him any favour he might ask. The Saint requested the liberation of all the captives from Nola, which the \King granted without any hesitation. Hence, all the prisoners from Nola were assembled at Court and being liberated, they returned with the holy Bishop, whom they justly regarded and honoured as their deliverer. How the whole City rejoiced, when the Saint arrived there accompanied by so many long lost friends! All the inhabitants went out to meet him,and having given him due thanks for his love and goodness, they led him with great honours and rejoicings to his Episcopal chair, whence he exhorted them to give thanks to the Almighty for the grace bestowed on them and to serve Him fervently and with unwearied zeal in future.”
After this he continued his pastoral functions until sickness confined him to his bed. Two Bishops from the neighbourhood, visited him at this time and having an Altar erected in his room, he for the last time said Holy Mass. When this was accomplished, he lay down again and asked where his brothers were? A servant, supposing that St Paulinus was speaking of the two above-mentioned Bishops, replied: “They are here, dear Father.” The Saint, however, said: “Not so, those, whom I mean, are the two Bishops, Januarius and Martin, who were with me and who promised to come soon again.” Januarius had formerly been Bishop at Naples, Martin at Tours – both were famous on account of their holiness. They appeared to the Saint and cheered him in his suffering and thus he expired happily in the Lord, in the year 431 . The holy Fathers Jerome, Gregory and Ambrose, in their works, bestow high praise on the great learning as well as the virtues of this Saint. St Augustine, in his record of St Paulinus, relates among other events, that when St Paulinus had been taken prisoner, he said to the Almighty: “Lord, release my heart from all anxiety for gold and silver, as Thou knowest best, where I have placed my treasures.” St Augustine remarks that the holy man had already sent all that had been his, according to the admonition of our Lord, to Heaven, through the hands of the poor. Amen! St Paulinus, Pray for us all!