Thought for the Day – 12 July – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Good Odour of Christ
“What quality of attraction do I possess? My behaviour is the mirror of my spiritual life. If I love God and am detached from the world, especially from sin and, if I practise mortification and strive to advance in the way of Christian perfection, my personality, will influence others to do good. My good example, rather than my words, will have a spiritual appeal for others, so that I shall be a living sermon.
Words are heard but example attracts. It is a great misfortune for me, if my sins tepidity, or vices, are the true reflection of my spiritual state and lead others into evil ways too!”
Quote/s of the Day – 11 July – The Memorial of St John Gualbert (c 985-1073) Abbot – Ecclesiasticus 45:1-6, Matthew 5:43-48
“But I say to you, love your enemies …”
St John Gualbert said to his enemy, “I cannot refuse what you ask in Christ’s Name. I grant you your life and I give you my friendship. Pray that God may forgive me my sin.”
St John Gualbert (c 985-1073) “The Merciful Knight.”
“BE NOT troubled about those who are with you or against you but take care that God be with you in everything you do. Keep your conscience clear and God will protect you, for the malice of man cannot harm one whom God wishes to help. If you know how to suffer in silence, you will undoubtedly experience God’s help. He knows when and how to deliver you, therefore, place yourself in His hands, for it is a divine prerogative to help men and free them from all distress. … It is the humble man, whom God protects and liberates; it is the humble, whom He loves and consoles. To the humble, He turns and upon them bestows great grace, that after their humiliation, He may raise them up to glory.”
One Minute Reflection – 11 July – “The Month of the Precious Blood” – The Memorial of St John Gualbert (c 985-1073) Abbot – Ecclesiasticus 45:1-6, Matthew 5:43-48
“But I say to you, love your enemies” – Matthew 5:44
REFLECTION – “One of you will say: “I’m not able to love my enemies at all.” All through Holy Scripture God has said to you that you can and do you answer Him that, to the contrary, you cannot!? Now think about it – who are we to believe? God or you? Since He who is Truth itself cannot lie, let human weakness leave off its futile excuses forthwith! He who is just, cannot demand something impossible and He who is merciful, will not condemn someone for something that person could not avoid. So why these evasions then? There is no-one who knows better, what we are capable of, than He who has given us the ability. Such numbers of men, women, children, tender young girls, have borne flames, fire, sword and the wild beasts for Christ’s sake, without flinching and we, do we say that we cannot bear the insults of unintelligent persons?…
Indeed, if only the good are to be loved, what are we to say of the action of our God, of Whom it is written: “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son?” (Jn 3,16). For what good deeds are they, that the world had done, for God to love it so? Christ our Lord, found us all to be, not only evil but even dead, on account of original sin and yet… “he loved us and handed himself over for us” (Eph 5,2). In so acting, He loved even those who did not love Him, as the Apostle Paul also says: “Christ died for the guilty” (Rm 5,6). And in His inexpressible mercy, He gave this example to all humankind, saying: “Learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart” (Mt 11,29).” – St Caesarius of Arles (470-543) Bishop and Monk – Sermons to the people, no 37
PRAYER – May the intercession of the blessed Abbot John commend us to Thee, O Lord, so that through his merits we may obtain that which we cannot accomplish by our own. Through the same 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 – 12 July – “The Month of the Most Precious Blood”
O Most Compassionate Jesus! By Blessed Pope Pius IX (1792-1878) Indulgence of 100 days, once a day 6 October 1870
O Most compassionate Jesus! Thou alone art our salvation, our life and our resurrection. We implore Thee, therefore, do not forsake us in our needs and afflictions but by the agony of Thy Most Sacred Heart and by the sorrows of Thy Immaculate Mother, succour Thy servants, whom Thou hast redeemed by Thy most Precious Blood. Amen
Saints of the Day – 12 July – Saints Nabor and Felix of Milan (Died c 304) Martyrs, Roman Soldiers. lLymen Soldiers Martyred during the Persecution under the Roman emperor Maximian.
12 July is traditionally the Feast day of two early Martyrs of the Church of Milan, Saints Nabor and Felix, who have long occupied a prominent place in the Ambrosian Rite. Together with their fellow Soldier St Victor, they are named in the Communicantes of the Ambrosian Canon. In the Roman Rite, they have been kept as a commemoration on the Feast of St John Gualbert, since the early 17th century.
The Hymn for Vespers of their Feast, which was composed by St Ambrose himself, refers to them as “Mauri genus – Moors by birth,”,since they were from the Roman Province of Mauretania in Africa. It is also sung on the Feast of St Victor on 8 May, as he was also a Moor and Martyred in the same persecution – they may have all belonged to a Berber tribe known as the Gaetuli, a great many of whom served in the Roman armies in the 3rd and 4th centuries. A later tradition associates all three of them with the Theban Legion, partly because they were in Milan in service to the Emperor Maximian, who made his headquarters in that City and was the persecutor of that legion.
Their 5th century Acts recount that they refused to sacrifice to the gods worshipped by the Empire and the army and were, therefore, beheaded at the City of Laus Pompeia (now called Lodi Vecchio). A noblewoman named Savina, a native of Milan married to a Patrician of Laus Pompeia, is said to have comforted them in prison and then to have secretly buried them in her own home after their execution. Once the persecution had ceased, in the year 310, she brought their relics to Milan, where they were laid to rest in the Chapel of her family, the Valerii. This Chapel then came to be known as the Basilica Naboriana.
Within the Basilica of St Ambrose in Milan, the Chapel known as “San Vittore in Ciel d’Oro – St Victor in the Heaven of Gold” contains a mosaic portrait of the Bishop of Milan at the time of this translation, St Maternus, with the Mart,yrs to either side of him. On the opposite wall are St Ambrose with Ss Gervasius and Protasius, underlining the parallels between the two Bishops in their devotion to the Martyrs. And in point of fact, the place where St Ambrose discovered the relics of Gervasius and Protasius, was very close to the Basilica Naboriana.
By 1249, the ancient Church was in very poor condition, and it was decided to entrust it to the then very new order of the Franciscans, recently arrived in Milan. A much larger Church was built to replace it, which was long known as San Francesco Grande. Devotion to the Martyrs was renewed, to such an extent, that in 1396, their Feast was declared a public holiday in Milan. In 1472, the relics were moved to be closer to the High Altar – the skulls of the two Martyrs were separated from the other bones and placed in their own bust-shaped Reliquaries, which were traditionally exposed on the Altar on major Feast days.
In 1798, when the French armies under Napoleon invaded northern Italy and the religious Orders were suppressed throughout the region, the Church of San Francesco Grande was destroyed. The Martyrs’ relics were fortunately saved and brought to the Basilica of St Ambrose. Since 1960, they have been enclosed within the Sarcophagus below, although some still reside in the Reliquary above.
It was probably at this point that the Reliquaries containing the skulls disappeared, most likely stolen by French soldiers. It was not until 1959 that they were rediscovered, with both the relics and authentication papers sealed and intact, in an antique shop in Namur, Belgium. The Bishop of Namur, André Charue, to whom they had been handed over, then generously returned them to Milan. the Cardinal Archbishop Giovanni Battista Montini, the future Pope Paul VI, had them installed in a new Parish built on the outskirts of the City, where they remain to this day, after solemn expositions at both Milan and Lodi.
Bl Conrad of Maleville Bl David Gonson St Epiphana St Faustus the Soldier St Felix of Milan * Commemorated with St Nabor St Fortunatus of Aquileia (1st Century – Died c 66) Deacon St Hermagorus of Aquileia (1st Century – Died c 66) Bishop, Disciple of St Mark the Evangelist Bl Guy Vignotelli St Hilarion of Ancyra St Jason of Tarsus Bl Jeanne-Marie de Romillon
St John the Georgian Bl Lambert of Cîteaux Bl Madeleine-Thérèse Talieu Bl Marguerite-Eléonore de Justamond Bl Marie Cluse St Menas the Soldier St Menulphus of Quimper St Nabor of Milan * Commemorated with St Felix St Paternian of Bologna St Paulinus of Antioch St Phêrô Khan St Proclus of Ancyra St Proculus of Bologna St Uguzo of Carvagna St Ultán
St Viventiolus of Lyons
Three Holy Exiles: Three Christian men who became Benedictine Monks at the Saint James Abbey in Regensburg, Germany, then Hermits at Griestatten and whose lives and piety are celebrated together. – Marinus, Vimius and Zimius.
Martyrs of Rome – Four members of the Imperial Roman nobility. They were all soldiers, one or more may have been officers, and all were Martyred in the persecutions of Diocletian – Basilides, Cyrinus, Nabor and Nazarius. Died in c 304 outside Rome, Italy and were buried there along the Aurelian Way.
Martyrs of Nagasaki – 8 Beati: Additional Memorial – 10 September as one of the 205 Martyrs of Japan Eight lay people, many them related to each other, who were martyred together: • Catharina Tanaka • Ioannes Onizuka Naizen • Ioannes Tanaka • Ludovicus Onizuka • Matthias Araki Hyozaemon • Monica Onizuka • Petrus Araki Chobyoe • Susanna Chobyoe 12 July 1626 in Nagasaki, Japan Beatified on 7 May 1867 by Pope Blessed Pius IX.