Thought for the Day – 20 July – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“It is a difficult thing to control and to direct our natural inclinations. It requires perseverance, sacrifice and the grace of God, for which we should always pray.
Often, this struggle will last a lifetime and we can still fall, even after many years of combat. It is important, however, never to give up. If we accept defeat and quietly submit to the tyranny of sinful passions, we are lost forever. It is a poor outlook too, for a Catholic who ends up by being satisfied with a life of worthless mediocrity. We must fight hard, pray fervently and value nothing higher than the love of Christ. When we are finally victorious, our joy will be greater than any happiness which the world can give.”
Quote/s of the Day – 20 July – “The Memorial of St Jerome Emiliani (1486–1537) Confessor – Isaias 58:7-11, Matthew 19:13-21
“God wishes to test you, like gold in the furnace. The dross is consumed by the fire but the pure gold remains and its value increases. It is in this manner that God acts with His good servant, who puts his hope in Him and remains unshaken in times of distress. God raises him up and, in return for the things he has left, out of love for God, He repays him a hundredfold in this life with eternal life hereafter.”
One Minute Reflection – 20 July – “The Memorial of St Jerome Emiliani (1486–1537) Confessor – Isaias 58:7-11, Matthew 19:13-21
“If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven.” – Matthew 19:21
REFLECTION – “After his parents’ death … when Anthony was about eighteen or even twenty years old …) he went into the Church when it happened that the Gospel was being read,and he heard the Lord saying to the rich man: “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven.” It was as if the passage were read on his account. Immediately Antony went out from the Lord’s house and gave to the townspeople the possessions he had from his forebears. And selling all the rest that was portable, when he collected sufficient money, he donated it to the poor, keeping a few things for his sister.
But when, entering the Lord’s house once more, he heard in the Gospel the Lord saying, “Do not be anxious about tomorrow” (Mt 6:34), he could not remain any longer but going out he gave those remaining possessions also to the needy. Placing his sister in the charge of respected and trusted virgins, and giving her over to the convent for rearing, he devoted himself from then on to the discipline rather than the household, giving heed to himself and patiently training himself ….
He worked with his hands, though, having heard that “he who is idle, let him not eat” (2 Thess 3:10). And he spent what he made partly for bread and partly on those in need. He prayed constantly, since he learned that it is necessary to “pray unceasingly” (Lk 21:36) in private. For he paid such close attention to what was read that nothing from Scripture did he fail to take in, rather, he grasped everything and in him the memory took the place of books. … All those then, who were from his village and those good people with whom he associated, seeing him living thus, used to call him ‘God-loved‘, and some hailed him as ‘son‘, some as ‘brother‘.” – St Athanasius (297-373) Bishop of Alexandria, Father and Doctor of the Church – Life of Saint Anthony, the Father of Monks, 2-4
PRAYER – O God, the Father of mercies, by the merits and intercession of St Jerome, whom Thou willed to be the helper and father of orphans, grant that we may faithfully guard the spirit of adoption which makes us Thy sons both in name and reality.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 – 20 July – The Memorial of St Jerome Emiliani (1486–1537) Confessor
O Mary, Twice Mother of Mercy By St Jerome Emiliani (1486–1537)
O Mary, thou art twice Mother of Mercy because thou hast been made Mother of our most merciful Saviour, and, furthermore because, thou hast given to us so many signs of thy maternal care and love. Turn upon us, we beseech thee, thy glance of compassion and grant, that we may always live free from sin, which is the only impediment to receiving the fruits of the Divine Mercies. Amen.
Saint of the Day – 20 July – St Jerome Emiliani (1486–1537) Confessor, Layman, Founder of the Somascan Fathers, Apostle of the poor, orphans, the sick, Catechist, Founder of countless Orphanages, Teaching institutions and Homes for converted street woman, Apostle of prayer. He was Beatified in 1747 by Pope Benedict XIV and Canonised in 1767 by Pope Clement XIII. Patronages – Orphans and Abandoned Children
Jerome was bora at Venice, of the patrician family of the Emiliani and from his boyhood embraced a military life. At a time when the Republic was in great difficulty, he was placed in command of Castelnovo, in the territory of Quero, in the mountains of Tarviso. The fortress was taken by the enemy and Jerome was thrown, bound hand and foot, into a horrible dungeon. When he found himself thus destitute of all human aid, he prayed most earnestly to the Blessed Virgin, who mercifully came to his assistance. She loosed his bonds and led him safely through the midst of his enemies, who had possession of every road, till he was within sight of Tarviso. He entered the town; and, in testimony of the favour he had received, he hung up at the Altar of our Lady, to whose service he had vowed himself, the manacles, shackles and chains which he had brought with him.
On his return to Venice he gave himself with the utmost zeal to exercises of piety. His charity towards the poor was wonderful but he was particularly moved to pity, for the orphan children who wandered poor and dirty about the town. He received them into houses which he hired, where he fed them at his own expense and trained them to lead Christian lives.
At this time Blessed Cajetan and Peter Caraffa, who was afterwards Paul IV., disembarked at Venice. They commended Jerome’s spirit and his new institution for gathering orphans together. They also introduced him into the hospital for incurables, where he would be able to devote himself with equal charity to the education of orphans and to the service of the sick. Soon, at their suggestion, he crossed over to the Continent and founded orphanages, first at Brescia, then at Bergamo and Como. At Bergamo his zeal was specially prolific, for there, besides two orphanages, one for boys and one for girls, he opened a house, an unprecedented thing in those parts, for the reception of fallen women, who had been converted.
Finally he took up his abode at Somascha, a small village in the territory of Bergamo, near to the Venetian border and this he made his headquarters; here, too, he definitely established his Congregation, which, for this reason, received the name of Somasques. In course of time it spread and increased and, for the greater benefit of the Christian Republic, it undertook, besides the ruling and guiding of orphans and the taking care of Sacred buildings, the education, both secular and moral, of young men in Colleges, Academies and Seminaries.
Pius V. enrolled it among religious Orders and other Roman Pontiffs have honoured it with privileges. Entirely devoted to his work of rescuing orphans, Jerome journeyed to Milan and Pavia and in both Cities, he collected numbers of children and provided them, through the assistance given him by noble personages, with a home, food, clothing and education. He returned to Somascha and, making himself all to all, he refused no labour which he saw might turn to the good of his neighbour. He associated himself with the peasants scattered over the fields and while helping them, with their work of harvesting, he would explain to them the mysteries of faith. He used to take care of children with the greatest patience, even going so far as to cleanse their heads and he dressed the corrupt wounds of the village folk, with such success, that it was thought he had received the gift of healing. In 1928 Pope Pius XI proclaimed St Jerome as the Universal Heavenly Patron of Orphans and abandoned children.
On the mountain which overhangs Somascha, he found a cave in which he hid himself and there, scourging himself, spending whole days fasting, passing the greater part of the night in prayer and snatching only a short sleep on the bare rock, he expiated his own sins and those of others. In the interior of this grotto, water trickles from the dry rock, obtained, as constant tradition says, by the prayers of the Servant of God. It still flows, even to the present day and being taken into different countries, it often gives health to the sick.
At length, when a contagious distemper was spreading over the whole valley and he was serving the sick and carrying the dead to the grave, on his own shoulders, he caught the infection and died at the age of fifty-six. His precious death, which he had foretold a short time before, occurred in the year 1537. He was illustrious both in life and death for many miracles. Benedict XIV. enrolled him among the Blessed,and Clement XIII. solemnly inscribed his name on the catalogue of the Saints.
Bl Anne Cartier St Ansegisus St Aurelius of Carthage St Bernward of Hildesheim St Cassian of Saint Saba St Elijah the Prophet
St Elswith St Frumentius of Ethiopia
Blessed Gregory Lopez (1542-1596) “The Mystery Man” – Hermit, Spiritual Advisor, Writer. Around 1585, word of a “Mystery Man” began to leak into Mexico City, a strange hermit who lived out in the lonely valley of Guesteca, who walked miles to go to Mass, lived totally subject to “Lady Poverty” and had travelled from the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Spain (which dates from 712), to her Shrine in Mexico (which dates from 1531). Biography: https://anastpaul.com/2018/07/20/saint-of-the-day-20-july-blessed-gregory-lopez-1542-1596/
St Joseph Barsabbas the Just (1st Century) Disciple of Jesus, Bishop, Martyr. The Roman Martyrology states today: “The birthday of the blessed Joseph, surnamed the Just, whom the Apostles selected with the blessed Matthias, for the Apostleshop in the place of the traitor, Judas. The lot having fallen upon Matthias, Joseph, notwithstanding, continued to preach and advance in virtue and after having sustained from the Jews, many persecutions for the Faith of Christ, happoily ended his life in Judea.” His Life and Death: https://anastpaul.com/2021/07/20/saint-of-the-day-20-july-saint-joseph-barsabbas-the-just-1st-century-disciple-of-jesus/
St Mère St Paul of Saint Zoilus St Rorice of Limoges St Severa of Oehren St Severa of Saint Gemma St Wulmar
Martyrs of Corinth – 22 Saints: 22 Christians who were Martyred together. We know nothing else about them but the names – • Appia • Calorus • Cassius • Celsus • Cyriacus • Donatus • Emilis • Felix • Fructus • Magnus • Maximus • Nestita • Partinus • Pasterus • Paul • Romanus • Spretus • Tertius • Theodolus • Ueratia • Valerian • Victor. They were martyred in Corinth, Greece.
Martyrs of Damascus – 16 Saints: 16 Christians who were Martyred together. We know the names of six of then, but no details about any of them – Cassia, Julian, Macrobius, Maximus, Paul and Sabinus. They were martyred in Damascus, Syria, date unknown.