Thought for the Day – 27 July – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Main Ways to Conquer Temptation
“The masters of the spiritual life suggest various ways of combating temptation. As St Alphonsus de Liguori points out, however, “the first way is absolutely essential and that is, to pray to God for the light and strength, to conquer. Without prayer, it is impossible to overcome temptation, whereas with prayer, we are sure of victory” (Al Servizio Divino p 22, c 6).
The reason is obvious. Prayer is not simply a verbal address to Almighty God but is, an elevation of the mind and heart, a conversation with God. Let us pray. therefore, with confidence and with love!”
Quote/s of the Day – 27 July – The Memorial of St Pantaleon (Died c 305) Martyr, Lay Physician, one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers – 2 Tim. 2:8-10; 3:10-12, Matthew 10:26-32
“And all who wish to live piously in Christ Jesus, will suffer persecution.”
2 Timothy 3:12
“The very hairs of your head are all numbered.”
“What is the surest kind of witness? “Anyone who acknowledges that Jesus Christ came among us in the flesh” (cf. 1Jn 4,2) and who keeps the commands of the Gospel… How many there are, each day, of these hidden martyrs of Christ who confess the Lord Jesus! … So be faithful and courageous in interior persecutions, so that you may also win the victory in exterior persecutions.”
St Ambrose (340-397) Father & Doctor of the Church
“When he has begun to follow Me, according to My teaching and precepts, he will find many people contradicting him and standing in his way, many who not only deride but even persecute him. Moreover, this is true, not only of pagans who are outside the Church but also of those, who seem to be in it visibly but are outside of it because of the perversity of their deeds. Although these glory, in merely the title of Christian, they continually persecute faithful Christians.”
St Caesarius of Arles (470-543)
“Rejoice and be happy! Persevere to the end and prefer to die rather than abandon the post, to which God has called you!”
St Catherine of Siena (1347-1380) Doctor of the Church
“Let us go forward in peace, our eyes upon heaven, the only one goal of our labours.”
One Minute Reflection – 27 July – “The Month of the Precious Blood” – The Memorial of St Pantaleon (Died c 305) Martyr, Lay Physician, one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers – 2 Tim. 2:8-10; 3:10-12, Matthew 10:26-32
“And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather, be afraid of him, who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” – Matthew 10:28
REFLECTION – “The Gospel is life. Impiety and infidelity are the death of the soul. So then, if the soul can die, how then is it yet immortal? Because, there is always a dimension of life in the soul which can never be extinguished. And how does it die? Not in ceasing to be life but by losing its proper life. For the soul is both life to something else and it has it own proper life. Consider the order of the creatures. The soul is the life of the body. God is the life of the soul. As the life that is the soul, is present with the body, that the body may not die, so the life of the soul (God), ought to be with the soul that it may not die.
How does the body die? By the departure of the soul. I say, by the departure of the soul, the body dies and it lies there as a mere carcass, what was a little before, a lively, not a contemptible object. There are in it still, its several members, the eyes and ears. But these are merely the windows of the house – its inhabitant is gone. Those who bewail the dead, cry in vain at the windows of the house. There is no-one there within it to hear. Why is the body dead? Because the soul, its life, is gone. But at what point is the soul itself dead? When God, its life, has forsaken it. This then we can know and hold for certain – the body is dead without the soul and the soul is dead without God. Everyone without God has a dead soul. You who bewail the dead rather, should bewail sin! Bewail ungodliness! Bewail disbelief.! – St Augustine (354-430) Bishop of Hippo, Father and Doctor of the Church (Sermon 65).
PRAYER – Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that through the intercession of Thy blessed Martyr Pantaleon, we may be delivered from all afflictions of the body and cleansed from all evil thoughts of the mind. 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 – 27 July – “The Month of the Most Precious Blood”
Prayer for Five Graces By St Alphonsus de Liguori (1696-1787) Most Zealous Doctor
Eternal Father, Thy Son has promised that Thou would grant, all the graces we ask of Thee in His Name. Trusting in this promise and in the Name of and through the Merits of Jesus Christ, I ask of Thee five special graces: First, I ask pardon, for all the offenses I have committed, for which I am sorry with all my heart because I have offended Thine infinite goodness. Second, I ask for Thy Divine Light, which will enable me to see the vanity of all things of this earth and see also, Thy Infinite greatness and goodness. Third, I ask for a share in Thy love, so that I may detach myself from all creatures, especially from myself and love only Thy Holy Will. Fourth, grant me the grace to have confidence in the Merits of Jesus Christ and in the intercession of Mary. Fifth, I ask for the grace of perseverance, knowing that, whenever I call on Thee for assistance, Thou will answer my call and come to my aid. I fear only, that I will neglect to turn to Thee in time of need and thus bring myself to ruin. Grant me the grace to pray always, O Eternal Father, in the Name of Our Lord Jesus. Amen.
Saint of the Day – 27 July – Blessed Nevolone of Faenza OFM (Died 1280) Penitent, Pilgrim, Widower, Lay Friar of the Order of Friars Minor, then a Camaldolese Hermit, Apostle of the poor and sick, worked as a Cobbler / Shoemaker.. Born in the 13th Century Faenza, Italy and died on 27 July 1280 in Faenza, Italy of natural causes. Patronage – Faenza, cobblers, shoemakers, shoe repairers (chosen by the cobblers of Rimini, Italy in 1331). Also known as – Nevolo of Tavensia, Nevolone, Novellone, Nevolonius. Beatified on 4 June 1817 by Pope Pius VII.
In the great family of Saints the shoemaker stands next to the king’s son and the penitent who has atoned for the errors of his earlier life, may associate with the innocent man who has never lost the grace of God.
Born of devout parents at Faenza, Italy, Nevellon learned the trade of a shoemaker but his bad conduct caused great grief to them, especially to his good mother. He married when he was quite young and it was hoped, that now at least, he would change his ways but he continued in the same bad habits, inflicting still greater pain on his family. His mother, however, prayed and sighed without ceasing that the good Lord, Who consoled the widow of Naim by raising her son to life, would also raise her son from a spiritual death to a new life.
The prayers and tears of the mother did not remain unanswered. Almighty God caused Nevellon to become seriously ill. The nearness of death opened his eyes; he reflected on his past years, grace touched his heart and with bitter tears of true contrition, he vowed that if he recovered, he would lead a penitential life. He also resolved to make a pilgrimage to the tombs of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul at Rome and to the tomb of St James at Compostela.
A few days later Nevellon recovered his health as if by a miracle . He was then only twenty four years old but he remained faithful to his promise all the rest of the days of his life, even up to an advanced age.
From that time on, prayer and work were his daily occupation. He became a Franciscan tertiary and converted his wife to an active faith. His charity to the poor nearly ruined his business.Mindful of the words, “Alms purge away sins” (Tob. 12,9), Blessed Nevellon retained only so much of his wages, as was necessary for he and his wife’s support and the remainder he divided among the poor and the sick. In the beginning, his wife, who was somewhat anxious over their temporalities, was much vexed at this liberality but when she saw the great blessings that attended her husband’s charity, she gave full consent.
Nevellon severely chastised his body for the sins of his past life and amid great hardships, undertook the pilgrimages he had promised, including several trips to Compostela. When his wife died, Nevelone became a Franciscan Lay Brother. But seeking greater unity with God in prayer and mortification he became a Camaldolese Hermit at the Monastery of San Maglorio in Faenza, Italy where his reputation for piety and wisdom continued to grow, leading many to emulate his spiritual ascent.
After giving the most edifying example of penance and many holy virtues for a space of fifty-six years, holy Nevellon died peacefully in the Lord in 1280. God glorified him in life and in death by miracles. His remains were interred in the Cathedral of San Pietro in Faenza. By 1282, 2 years after his death, there were so many pilgrims to his tomb that guards had to be posted to maintain order. With the approval of the Pope his native town celebrates his feast and shoemakers have chosen him for their special Patron.
St Maurus of Bisceglia St Natalia of Cordoba Blessed Nevolone of Faenza OFM (Died 1280) Penitent, Widower, Lay brother of the Order of Friars Minor, then a Camaldolese Hermit. St Pantaleimon Bl Rudolf Aquaviva S.J. Bl Robert Sutton St Semproniana of Mataró St Sergius of Bisceglia Bl William Davies Bl Zacarías Abadía Buesa
Martyrs of Nicomedia – 3 Saints: Three Christians Martyred together. The only other information to survive are their names – Felix, Jucunda and Julia. Nicomedia, Asia Minor.
Seven Sleepers of Ephesus: A group of seven young Christian men who hid in a cave in hopes of avoiding the persecution of Decius in the year 250. Found and arrested, they were ordered by the pro-consul in Ephesus to renounce their faith; they refused and were sentenced to die. Legend says that they were walled up in their hiding cave, guarded by the dog Al Rakim; when the cave wall was breached in 479 – they all woke up! It is likely that the youths were tortured to death in various ways and buried in the cave. The resurrection story confusion came from the phrase “went to sleep in the Lord” which was used to describe the death of Christians and 479 is when their relics were discovered. Their names were Constantinus, Dionysius, Joannes, Malchus, Martinianus, Maximianus and Serapion. They were martyred in 250 in Ephesus (in modern Turkey); tradition says that they were walled up in a cave to suffocate but other records indicate that they were tortured to death in various ways. Their relics discovered in 479 and translated to Marseilles, France and enshrined in a large stone coffin.
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