Announcing a Novena to Our Lady of the Rosary Begins 28 September
The Feast of the Most Holy Rosary is celebrated on 7 October.
Please join me in praying a Novena in honour of Our Lady of the Rosary for the nine days preceding her Feast on 7 October and, of course, October is the Month of the Holy Rosary.
This Feast was instituted to commemorate the victory of Christianity over the forces of Islam at the battle of Lepanto on 7 October 1571. The victory was brought about through the recitation of the Rosary. In thanksgiving for another victory over the same foes in Hungary in 1715, the Feast was extended to the entire Church. In the course of centuries the Rosary has been a source of abundant blessings. In her apparitions at Lourdes, France, in 1858 and again at Fatima, Portugal, in 1917, Mary urged Catholics to pray the Rosary daily in order to bring about the conversion of sinners and a lasting world peace. We should resolve to say the Most Holy Rosary everyday. Besides being a beautiful tribute of love and filial piety, to our Heavenly Mother, it will be our support and joy in life and our consolation at the hour of death.
Thought for the Day – 27 September – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Sacrifices of Life
“The Saints looked for mortifications, humiliations, sacreifices; they desired to suffer to show their love for Jesus and to conquer the disordered inclinations of their bodies.
By setting out on the way of penance of the Cross, they purified themselves and reached the summit of sanctity, step-by-step.
What sacrifices and mortifications are we prepared to undertake? Remember that there are two things which we are obliged to do: (1) We must accept patiently, from the hands of God, all the sorrows, troubles and crosses which He sends us. (2) We must be prepared to take up our cross voluntarily and generously, at least ,when we realise, that it is necessary or profitable for our salvation and sanctification.”
Quote/s of the Day – 27 September – Wisdpm 5:16-20, Luke 6:17-23
“Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the Kingdom of God.”
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.”
“The soul must grow and expand so as to be capable of God. And its largeness is its love, as the Apostle says, “widen yourselves in love” (2 Cor 6:13). It grows and extends spiritually, not in substance but in virtue. The greatness of each soul is judged by the measure of love that it has- he who has great love, is great- he who has little love is little, while he who has no love at all – is nothing!”
St Bernard (1090-1153) Mellifluous Doctor of the Church
“This death … has already levelled his bow to strike me. Is it not prudent to prevent its stroke, by dying now to the world, that at my death, I may live to God?”
St Francis Borgia (1510-1572)
“Do not live any longer in yourself but let Jesus Christ live in you in such a way that the virtue of this Divine Saviour may be resplendent in all your actions, in order that all may see in you a true portrait of the Crucified and sense, the sweetest fragrance of the holy virtues of the Lord, in interior and exterior modesty, in patience, in gentleness, suffering, charity, humility and in all others that follow.”
St Paul of the Cross (1604-1775)
“You leave the land just as it is when you depart, you do not carry anything away. Our first aim is to go to God, we are not on earth for anything but this!”
One Minute Reflection – 27 September – Saints Cosmas and Damian (Died c 286 ) Martyrs – Wisdpm 5:16-20, Luke 6:17-23
“And raising his eyes toward his disciples he said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the Kingdom of God.” – Luke 6:20
REFLECTION – “Let us see how St Luke encompassed the eight blessings in the four. We know that there are four Cardinal Virtues – Temperance, Justice, Prudence and Fortitude. One who is poor in spirit, is not greedy. One who weeps, is not proud but is submissive and tranquil. One who mourns, is humble. One who is just does not deny what he knows is given jointly to all for us. One who, is merciful – gives away his own goods. One who bestows his own goods, does not seek another’s, nor does he contrive a trap for his neighbour. These virtues are interwoven and interlinked, so that one, who has one, may be seen to have several and a single virtue, befits the Saints. Where virtue abounds, the reward too abounds…. Thus temperance has purity of heart and spirit, justice has compassion, patience has peace and endurance has gentleness.
“Blessed,” it says, “are the poor.” Not all the poor are blessed, for poverty is neutral. The poor can be either good or evil, unless, perhaps, the blessed pauper is to be understood as he whom the prophet described, saying, “A righteous poor man is better than a rich liar.” Blessed is the poor man who cried and whom the Lord heard. Blessed is the man poor in offence. Blessed is the man poor in vices. Blessed is the poor man, in whom the prince of this world finds nothing. Blessed is the poor man who, is like that Poor Man Who, although He was rich, became poor for our sake. Matthew fully revealed this when he said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit.” One poor in spirit is not puffed up, is not exalted in the mind of his own flesh. This Beatitude is first, when I have laid aside every sin and I have taken off all malice and I am content with simplicity, destitute of evils. All that remains is that I regulate my conduct. For what good does it do me to lack worldly goods, unless I am meek and gentle?
Although there are many charms of delights in riches, yet there are more incentives to practice virtues. Although virtue does not require assistance and the contribution of the poor person, is more commended, than the generosity of the rich, yet with the authority of the heavenly saying, He condemns, not those who have riches but those who do not know how to use them. The pauper is more praiseworthy who gives with eager compassion and is not restrained, by the bolts of looming scarcity. He thinks that he who has enough for nature, does not lack. So the rich person is the more guilty, who does not give thanks to God, for what he has received but vainly hides wealth given for the common use and conceals it, in buried treasures. Then the offence consists, not in the wealth but in the attitude.
Purify yourself with your tears. Wash yourselves with mourning. If you weep for yourself, another will not weep for you…. One who is a sinner weeps for himself and rebukes himself, that he may become righteous, for just people accuse themselves of sin. Let us pursue order because, it is written, “Set in order love in me.” I have laid down sin. I have tempered my conduct. I have wept for my transgressions. I begin to hunger. I hunger for righteousness. The sick, when he is seriously ill, does not hunger, because the pain of the illness excludes hunger. What is the hunger for righteousness? What is the bread of which it is said, “I have been young and am old and I have not seen the righteous man forsaken, nor his seed begging bread?” Surely, one who is hungry, seeks increase of strength. What greater increase of virtue is there, than the rule of righteousness?” – St Ambrose (340-397) Bishop of Milan, Father and Doctor of the Church( Exposition on the Gospel of Luke, 5).
PRAYER – Grant, we beseech Thou, almighty God, that we who celebrate the anniversary of the death of Thy holy Martyrs, Cosmas and Damian, may by their intercession, be delivered from all the evils that threaten us. Through Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).
Saint of the Day – 27 September – Saint Delphina TOSF (1283-1360) Virgin Laywoman, Married in Chastity to St Elzear (below) Widow, Recluse, Apostle of the Poor and needy. Born in 1283 at the Chateau-Puimichel in Languedoc (modern Puy-en-Velay, France) and died on 26 November 1360 of natural cause, having lived as a Franciscan tertiary for most of her life. Patronages – • Brides, Tertiaries, Diocese of Ariano Irpino-Lacedonia, Italy. Also known as – Delphine, Delphine of Glandèves, Delphina/e of Sabran.
Delphine was the daughter and heiress of the Count of Puy-Michel. Left an orphan in her infancy, she was placed under the guardianship of her uncles and was brought up under the direction of her Aunt, who was the Abbess of the Convent of St Catherine of Sorps, at Bauduen. As a young girl, she took a vow of virginity which she kept to the end of her life.
Despite her vow, at the age of twelve she was espoused to the ten-year-old Elzéar, Count of Sabran. They were married three years later at the Castle of Puy-Michel. Having grown up together, they regarded each other as brother and sister, rather than husband and wife. Inspired by her example, her husband also took a vow of celibacy, which both honoured throughout their married life. The couple, having both received the habit of the Third Order of St Francis, lived together at their Castle in Ansouis, in the practice of prayer, penance andgood works towards the poor. After seven years, they moved to Puy-Michel. When Elzéar had to go to Naples to see to some inherited property, they kept up a regular correspondence. Elzéar died in 1323.
After the death of her husband, Delphina sold all her possessions for the benefit of the poor and retired first to Naples and then to Cabrières, which was the location of the Castle where her husband had been born. She finally returned to Apt where her husband had been buried. Upon her death, she was buried with him in the church of the Friars Minor there, wearing the habit of the Order.
The veneration that had begun to be given to Delphina was confirmed by Pope Urban V, godson of Elzéar, who Canonised Elzéar and Delphina in 1694. Her feast day is not the date of her death, 26 November but today, 26 September, sharing this day with the remembrance of her husband.
Martyrs of Aegea – (3 Saints): Three Christians Martyred with Saints Cosmas and Damian in the persecutions of Diocletian – Anthimus, Euprepius and Leontius. They were tortured and beheaded c.303 in Aegea, Cilicia (modern Ayas, Turkey).
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