Preparatory Prayer By St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787) Most Zealous Doctor of the Church
O Mary, Virgin most Blessed and Mother of Our Lord and Redeemer Jesus Christ, through thy mercy I beseech thee, to come to my aid and to inspire me with such confidence in thy power that I may have recourse to thee, pray to thee and implore thy aid, in all needs of soul and body. Amen
Meditation: According to Holy Scripture and the Doctrine of the Church, there are, in Heaven, various grades of glory and joy, according to the rank and merit of the Saints. They attain this higher grade of glory and joy, by the increase of their ability to enjoy the happiness of Heaven. Their intellect is enabled to contemplate, more profoundly, the incomprehensible Essence of God. Their power of perception, is augmented so that they may more readily recognise and admire, the splendour of the Angels, Saints and heavenly mansions. Their will is enabled to be united, in a higher degree with God. From this we may conclude that Mary’s joy in Heaven transcends all human conception. Her heavenly glory and reward consists in the perfect adaptation of her whole being, to the enjoyment of God and of eternal happiness
Practice: Look up, Christian soul, to this great and brilliant Queen of Heaven. She is your gentle Mother and assures you of her help and the diadem she wears upon her brow is a proof that she has the power to help you. Do not, therefore, refuse the hand of this mighty ally in Heaven, for she will lift you from the depths of your misery, from the dangers of temptation and lead you strong and victorious, into the Presence of her Divine Son. Thus, you will enter into a new and supernatural life in Christ, to share in the grace-laden Mysteries of His Light, Passion and Triumph.
Prayer of the Church: We beseech Thee, O Lord, pardon the shortcomings of Thy servants that we who, by our own works, are not able to please Thee, may be saved by the intercession of the Mother of Thy Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Novena Prayer: Day Seven
O Great and glorious Queen of Heaven, Mary! I beseech thee, by that exalted throne upon which God has raised thee, above all Angels and Daints; let me one day, appear amongst them, to join them in their praise of thee. Obtain for me the grace of never ceasing to honour thee, as thou dost deserve to be honoured, and thereby, to become worthy of thy mighty protection in life and death. I beseech thee too, O holy Mother, for the granting of this, my special petition: …………………………………
Hail Mary …….
Ejaculation: Sweet heart of Mary be my salvation!
Indulgence: (1) 100 days, every time. (2) A Plenary Indulgence, once a month, on any day, to all who shall have said it everyday for a month, under the usual conditions.
Thought for the Day – 12 August – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Renouncing All Things
“Another necessary condition for Christ’s reign in our souls, is that we should destroy our love of self. Our Lord charges us: “If anyone wishes to come after me, let him deny himself and take up is cross and follow me” (Mt16:24). It is easier to renounce the goods of this world than it is to deny ourselves. It is so difficult to renounce one’s own ego that, at first sight, it seems impossible. Nevertheless, God demands this of us, if we intend to be perfect Christians and to be completely free to dedicate ourselves to Him.
God wishes to be absolute master of our souls because, this is His right as our Creator and Redeemer. If we succeed in conquering our self-love and in desiring only whatever is pleasing to God, we shall find liberty and peace. We shall be able to claim with St Paul: “It is now, no longer I that live but Christ lives in me” (Gl 2:20).”
Quote/s of the Day – 12 August – St Clare of Assisi (1194-1253) Virgin
“O wondrous blessed clarity of Clare! In life she shone to a few; after death, she shines on the whole world! On earth she was a clear light. Now in Heaven, she is a brilliant sun. O how great the vehemence of the brilliance of this clarity! On earth this light was indeed kept within cloistered walls, yet shed abroad its shining rays. It was confined within a convent cell, yet spread itself through the wide world.”
Pope Innocent IV (c 1195-1254) Papal reign 25 June 1243-1254
One Minute Reflection – 12 August – St Clare of Assisi (1194-1253) Virgin – 2 Cor inthians 10:17-18; 11:1-2 , Matthew 25:1-13
“But the wise took oil in their vessels” – Matthew 25:4
REFLECTION – “It is some great thing, some exceedingly great thing, that this oil signifies. Do you think it might be charity? If we try out this hypothesis, we hazard no precipitate judgement. I will tell you why charity seems to be signified by the oil. The Apostle says, “I will show you a still more excellent way.” “If I speak with the tongue of mortals and of angels but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.” This is charity. It is “that way above the rest,” which is, with good reason, signified by the oil. For oil swims above all liquids. Pour in water and pour in oil upon it, the oil will swim above. If you keep the usual order, it will be uppermost, if you change the order, it will be uppermost. “Charity never fails!” … St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor (Sermon 93).
PRAYER – Hear us, O God, our Saviour that as we are gladdened by the festival of blessed Clare Thy virgin, so we may learn from it piety and devotion. ThroughJesus 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 August – St Clare of Assisi (1194-1253) Virgin
Excerpt from the Prayer to the Five Wounds of Jesus By St Clare of Assisi (1194-1253)
I pray Thee, O most gentle Jesus, that having redeemed me by Baptism from original sin, so now, by Thy Precious Blood, which is offered and received, throughout the world, deliver me from all evils, past, present and to come. And by Thy most bitter Death, give me a lively faith, a firm hope and perfect charity, so that I may love Thee with all my heart and all my soul and all my strength. Make me firm and steadfast in good works and grant me perseverance in Thy service, so that I may be able to please Thee always. Amen.
Saint of the Day – 12 August – St Clare of Assisi (1194-1253) Virgin. Patronages – embroiderers, needle workers, eyes, against eye disease, for good weather, gilders, gold workers, goldsmiths, laundry workers, television (proclaimed on 14 February 1958 by Pope Pius XII because when St Clare was too ill to attend the Holy Mass, she had been able to see and hear it, on the wall of her room.), television writers, Poor Clares, Assisi, Italy, Santa Clara Indian Pueblo.
The Roman Martyrology reads today: “At Assisi, in Umbria. Italy, St Clare, Virgin, the first of the poor woman of the Order of Minors. Being celebrated for holiness of life and miracles. she was placed among holy virgins, by Alexander IV.”
St Clare, Virgin, Founder, Mystic, Miracle-worker By Fr Francis Xavier Weninger SJ (1805-1888) (Excerpt)
St.Clare, Founder of the Order which bears her name, was born of rich and pious parents, at Assisi, in the district of Umbria, in Italy. She received the name of Clare, which means “clear or bright,” for the following reason. While her mother Hortulana, was kneeling before a Crucifix, praying that God might aid her in her hour of delivery, she heard the words: “Do not fear. You will give birth to a light which shall illumine the whole world.”
From her earliest childhood, prayer was Clare’s only delight. She gave to the poor all the presents which she received from her parents. She despised all costly garments, all worldly pleasures. Beneath the fine clothes she was obliged to wear, she wore a rough hair-girdle. She partook of so little food that it seemed as if she wished to observe a continual fast.
During this same period lived St Francis, surnamed “the Seraphic,” on account of his great virtues. Clare frequently went to him and confided to him, her desire to renounce the world and to consecrate her virginity to God and to lead a perfect life in the most abject poverty. St Francis who saw that besides other gifts and graces, she was filled with the most ardent love of God, possessing great innocence of heart and despising the world, strengthened her in her holy desire, while at the same time, he tested her constancy. Being sufficiently convinced that her desires were inspired by Heaven, he advised Clare to leave her home, which she did on Palm Sunday, going to the Church of the Portiuncula, where she had her hair cut off, as a sign that she would enter a religious life. She divested herself of all feminine ornament, and attired in a penitential garb, tied around her with a cord, she was placed. by St Francis in a vacant Benedictine Convent. She was at that time just eighteen years of age.
When her parents heard of what she had done, they hastened to the Convent, to take Clare home, declaring that this choice of a state of life was only a childish whim, or that she had been persuaded to it by others. Clare, however, after opposing their arguments, fled into the Church, and clinging to the Altar with one hand, with the other she showed her head shorn of its hair, exclaiming: “Know all, that I desire no other bridegroom but Jesus Christ. Understanding well what I was doing, I chose Him and I will never leave Him.” Astonished at this answer, all returned home, admiring her virtue and piety. Clare thanked God for this victory and was, on account of it, all the more strengthened in her resolution.
Clare had a sister younger than herself, named Agnes. A few days later she, too, fled from her parents’ roof and going to Clare, wished to be invested in the same habit and to serve God in the same manner. St Clare received her joyfully but as all her relatives were provoked beyond measure that she, too, had entered a Convent, twelve of them went and forcibly tore her from her sister’s arms. Clare took refuge in prayer and, as if inspired by the Almighty, ran after her sister, loudly calling her by name. God assisted her by a miracle. Agnes suddenly became immovable, as if rooted to the ground and no-one possessed strength enough to drag her from where she stood. Recognising in this, the powerful hand of God, they opposed her no longer but allowed her to return to the Convent.
Meanwhile, St Francis had rebuilt the old Church of St Damiano and had bought the neighbouring house. Into this house he placed his first two religious daughters, Clare and Agnes, who were speedily joined by others, desirous of conforming themselves to the rule of life which St Francis had given to Clare. This was the beginning of the Order of Poor Clares, which has since given to the world, so many shining examples of virtue and holiness, to the salvation of many thousands of souls.
St Clare was appointed Abbess by St Francis and filled the office for forty two years with wonderful wisdom and holiness. Her mother too, together with her youngest daughter, took the habit and submitted to the government of St Clare.
She was, to all in her charge, a bright example of poverty. In austerity towards herself, she was more to be admired than imitated. The floor or a bundle of straw was her bed, a piece of wood, her pillow. Twice during the year she kept a forty days’ fast on bread and water. Besides this, three days of the week, she tasted no food and so little on the others that it is marvellous that she could sustain life with it. The greater part of the night, she spent in prayer and her desire for mortification was so great that St. Francis compelled her to moderate her austerities.
She nursed the sick with the greatest pleasure, as in this work of charity, she found almost constant opportunity to mortify and overcome herself. Besides all her other virtues, she was especially remarkable for her devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. She sometimes remained whole hours immovable before the Tabernacle and was often seen in ecstacy, so great was her love for the Saviour it concealed. She sought her comfort in Him alone in all her trials, amidst all her persecutions and how great were the graces she thereby received, the following event will sufficiently illustrate.
The Saracens besieged Assisi and made preparations to scale the walls of the Convent. St Clare, who was sick at the time, had herself carried to the gates of the Convent, where, with the Ciborium, containing the Blessed Sacrament, in her hands, prostrating herself in company with all her religious, she cried aloud: “O Lord, do not give into the hands of the infidels, the souls of those who acknowledge and praise Thee. Protect and preserve Thy handmaidens whom Thou hast redeemed with Thy Precious Blood.” A voice was distinctly heard, saying: “I will protect you always.”
The result proved that this was the Voice of Heaven. The Saracens, seized with a sudden fear, betook themselves to flight, those who had already scaled the walls, became blind and flung themselves down. Thus were St Clare and her religious protected and the whole City preserved from utter devastation, by the piety and devotion of the Saint to the Blessed Sacrament. We must omit many miracles which God wrought through His faithful servant.
[When St Clare] … had reached the age of sixty years, during twenty-eight of which, she had suffered from various painful maladies, although she had not been confined to her bed, or rather, her bundle of straw. Her patience while suffering was remarkable and she was never heard to complain.
The hour of her death drew near and she saw a great many white-robed virgins come to meet her, among whom was one who surpassed all the rest in beauty. She followed them and they led her to see the Almighty face-to face. Several who had read in the depths of her heart, said that she died more from the fervour of her love for God, than from the effects of her sickness. Her holy death took place in 1253. The great number of miracles wrought after her death, through her intercession and the heroic virtues which made her so remarkable, induced Pope Alexander IV., only two years later, to place her in the number of Saints.
St Porcarius of Lerins St Simplicio of Vercelli St Ust
Martyrs of Augsburg – 4 Saints: The mother, Hilaria,and three friends of of Saint Afra ofAugsburg. While visiting the tomb of Saint Afra who were seized by the authorities and Martyred when they visited Afra’s tomb – Digna, Eunomia, Euprepia and Hilaria. They were burned alive c 304.
Martyrs of Rome – 5 Saints: A group of Christians Martyred together in the persecutions of Diocletian. We know little more than their names – Crescentian, Juliana, Largio, Nimmia and Quiriacus. • c.304 in Rome, Italy • buried on the Ostian Way outside Rome.