Thought for the Day – 14 November – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“The Holy Spirit tells us that God entrusts to everyone, the care of his neighbour (Ecclus 17:12). “Let your light shine before men,” says Jesus Christ, “in order that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in Heaven” (Mt 5:16). St Paul echoes this counsel, when he warns us not to return evil for evil but to “provide good things, not only in the sight of God but also in the sight of all men” (Cf Rom 12:17). In other words, we are obliged to edify our neighbour by our good example.
Good example is the most effective sermon and it is a sermon which all of us can and should deliver. We ought to preach this sermon everywhere and at all times – in the Church and outside it, in our family circle and in society, with our superiors, equals and inferiors, when we are speaking and when we are silent, in our behaviour and in our appearance!”
Quote/s of the Day – 14 November – St Josaphat Kuncewicz OSBM (1584-1623) Confessor, Archbishop, Martyr – Hebrews 5:1-6, John 10:11-16 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/
“I Am the Good Shepherd and I know mine and mine know me.”
“Those who are my sheep hear my voice and follow me”
“He cries out, saying: See, I am with you all the days of this age. He is Himself the shepherd, the high priest, the way and the door, and has become all things at once for us.”
St Athanasius (297-373) Father & Doctor of the Church
“The mark of Christ’s sheep is their willingness to hear and obey, just as disobedience is the mark of those who are not His. We take the word ‘hear’ to imply obedience to what has been said.”
St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Father and Doctor of the Church
“With good reason Christ declares: I am the Good Shepherd, I seek out the lost sheep, the strayed I will bring back, the injured I will bind up, the sick I will heal (Ez 34:16). I have seen the flock of mankind struck down by sickness; I have witnessed my lambs wander about where demons dwell; I have seen my flock ravaged by wolves. All this I have seen and have not witnessed it from on high. That is why I took hold of the withered hand, gripped by pain, as if by a wolf; I have unbound those whom fever had bound; I taught him to see, whose eyes had been shut from his mother’s womb; I brought Lazarus out from the tomb where he had lain for four days (Mk 3:5; 1:31; Jn 9; 11). For I am the Good Shepherd and the good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep.”
Basil of Seleucia (Died 448) Bishop of Seleucia, Writer Oratio 26
O Lord, Show Thy Mercy to Me By St Jerome (347-419) Confessor, Father and Doctor of the Church
O Lord, show Thy mercy to me and gladden my heart. I am like the man on the way to Jericho, who was overtaken by robbers, wounded and left for dead. O Good Samaritan, come to my aid. I am like the sheep which went astray. O Good Shepherd, seek me out and bring me home, in accord with Thy will. Let me dwell in Thy house all the days of my life and praise Thee, forever and ever with those who are there. Amen.
“No matter how grave and how numerous our sins may be, let us remember that the Mercy of God is Infinite. Let us remember that He is waiting for us, as his father waited for the prodigal son and, that He is following us like a shepherd who is searching for his lost sheep. He allowed us to fall, in order to humble us and help us to realise that we are incapable of doing anything good by ourselves.”
One Minute Reflection – 14 November – St Josaphat Kuncewicz OSBM (1584-1623) Confessor, Archbishop, Martyr – Hebrews 5:1-6, John 10:11-16 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/
“I am the good shepherd and I know mine and mine know me.”- John 10:14
REFLECTION – “He shows in what manner a shepherd may be proved good and, He teaches that, he must be prepared to give up his life, fighting in defence of his sheep, which was fulfilled in Christ. For man has departed from the love of God and fallen into sin and because of this was, I say, excluded from the divine abode of paradise. And when he was weakened by that disaster, he yielded to the devil tempting him to sin and death, following that sin, he became the prey of fierce and ravenous wolves. But after Christ was announced as the True Shepherd of all men, He laid down His life for us (1 John 3:16), fighting for us against that pack of inhuman beasts. He bore the Cross for us that by His own death, He might destroy death. He was condemned for us that He might deliver all of us, from the sentence of punishment: the tyranny of sin being overthrown by our faith: fastening to the Cross, the decree that stood against us, as it is written (Colossians 2:14).
Therefore, as the father of sin had, as it were, shut up the sheep in hell, giving them to death to feed on, as it is written in the Psalms (Ps. Xlviii.16), He died for us, as truly Good and truly our Shepherd, so that the dark shadow of death is driven away, He might join us to the company of the blessed in Heaven and, in exchange for abodes, which lie far in the depths of the pit …grants us mansions in His Father’s House above. Because of this, He says to us in another place: Fear not, little flock, for it has pleased your Father to give you a Kingdom (Luke 12:32). Do you listen attentively to the Voice of the Good Shepherd and obey His Word? – ” – St Cyril of Alexander (376-444) Known as “The Pillar of Faith” Archbishop of Alexandria, Father and Doctor of the Church. (Commentary on the Good Shepherd).
PRAYER – Arouse in Thy Church, O Lord, the spirit with which blessed Josaphat, Thy Martyr and Bishop, was filled, when he laid down his life for his flock; so that, by his intercession, we, also moved and strengthened by the same spirit, may not fear to lay down our lives for our brethren. 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).
Saint of the Day – 14 November – Saint Siard OPraem (Died 1230) Abbot Siard of Friesland in the Netherlands, was a holy Abbot of the Norbertine Abbey in Mariëngaard by Hallum in Friesland. He was a powerful and hardworking Administrator, abiding strictly by the Rule of the Order, Apostle of the poor and needy, a holy Abbot of deep piety and prayer, on occasion he was seen in ecstasy, peacemaker. Patronage – against blindness, bodily ailments.
He was born to a noble Frisian family in the shadow of the Abbey of Mariëngaard and there received the white habit at the hands of St Frederick (c 780-838). During his first twenty years in the Abbey, Siard practised great penances and mortification and proved a model of edification for the brethren, to such an extent that Abbot John appointed Siard his successor on his death-bed.
As Abbot his life was particularly marked by its austerity and benevolence.Nothing in his daily life distinguished him from his confreres. He wore the same habit, ate at the same table and slept in the same dormitory. On account of his exceptional humility, he resolutely refused everything that was not strictly necessary. He was a good administrator who governed his Monastery well, both in spiritual and material matters. He laboured zealously with his Monks, particularly in the fields harvesting wheat. He would lead the confreres in the singing of Psalms during harvest time. He was extremely open to those who sought his advice and ensured that the Abbey became known as a place of refuge throughout the region.
As a model of perfection, Siard had also given Blessed Dodo of Haskerland his Norbertine education. He showed a true conciliatory spirit, settling disputes quickly and with the utmost gentleness and understanding. Furthermore, the Saint extended the lands of the Abbey and guided the constructios of various additions to the buildings. The apostolic spirit of the Order thrived at Mariëngaarde under his leadership. Whenever Siard went on a journey, he took along a large basket full of bread and other foods that he could distribute among the poor. Because of this he is usually depicted with a basket at his feet.
Once on a journey, the holy Abbot came across a noisy celebration of music and dance. He stopped and turned to his brothers saying, “Just imagine what songs of joy the angel choirs must sing when they celebrate the conversion of a single sinner.” He urged three things upon the confreres who had to leave the Monastery on a journey – a joyous departure, a peaceful sojourn and a happy return. Known also for his miraculous cures of the sick and ailing, the Monastery began to attract many in search of the alleviation of their physical illnesses, after Siard cured a man of blindness.
Siard had a special devotion to Martha and Mary. He looked to Martha, as an example for his care of the confreres and to Mary, as a reminder of the necessity of listening to Christ, in prayer and meditation. On occasion, he would fall into ecstasy during prayer and hear the heavenly music of the angels.
Naturally the austhere life which Siard had implemented, was not popular with all of the Canons and,, in 1290, one of their number attempted to murder the Abbot. His loud cries brought the aid of the confreres and he escaped with only minor injuries.
He had been Abbot for thirty six years when he died on 14 November 1230. Numerous faithful were granted special favours by God, at his grave. After the destruction of Mariëngaarde by the Calvinists in 1578, his earthly remains were rescued by a Frieslanden nobleman, Siard of Helsema, who brought them to Hildesheim. In 1608 his Relics were divided and placed in two separate Reliquaries. In 1617, one of these was brought to the Abbey of St Feuillin du Roeulz. After the suppression of this Abbey during the French Revolution, the Relics were taken to the Church at Strépy. In 1938 Prelate Bauwens brought them to the Norbertine Abbey of Leffe. The other Reliquary was brought to Tongerlo in 1617, where ever since the people have held St Siard in great honour and celebrated his Feast each year, with great solemnity. A part of the Relic of Siard’s head found a home in the Generalate House in Rome, until 2000 when it was transferred to the Abbey of Windberg.
The cult of St Siard was confirmed by Pope Benedict XIII on 22 January and 8 March in 1728.
O God, Who made Thy Saints to obey the Gospel as an example for many, grant, we beseech Thee, that we may imitate the cheerful goodness and devout piety of the blessed Abbot Siard. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who lives and reigns with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, One God forever and ever. Amen.
All Saints of the Carmelite Order: On this day, the Carmelite Family celebrates the memory of all its holy men and women, those known and those unknown, those living on Earth and those living in Heaven, who reflect the glory of God.
St Laurence O’Toole/Lorcán Ua Tuathail (c 1128 – 1180) Archbishop of Dublin, Abbot, Reformer, Mediator, Preacher, Apostle of Charity, Papal Legate to Ireland, he established new Churches and Monasteries. Due to the great number of miracles that rapidly occurred either at his tomb or through his intercession, Lorcán was canonised only 45 years after his death in 1225 by Pope Honorius III. Biography: https://anastpaul.com/2018/11/14/saint-of-the-day-14-november-st-laurence-otoole-c-1128-1180/
St Modanic St Pierre of Narbonne St Ruf of Avignon St Serapion of Alexandria
St Serapion of Algiers OdeM (c 1179–1240) Mercedarian Priest and Martyr, Soldier and Crusader. The Roman Martyrology states today: “At Algiers in Africa, the blessed Serapion, of the Order of Our Blessed Lady of Ransom, for the Redemption of the faithful in captivity and the preaching of the Christian Faith. He was the first of his Order to deserve the Palm of Martyrdom by being crucified and cut to pieces.” On 14 July 1728, a decree was issued confirming his immemorial cult. he was Canonised on 14 April 1728 by Pope Benedict XIII and on 24 August 1743, he was included in the Roman Martyrology. His Life and Death: https://anastpaul.com/2021/11/14/saint-of-the-day-14-november-saint-serapion-of-algiers-odem-c-1179-1240-martyr/
St Siard OPraem (Died 1230) Abbot of the Premonstratensian Order or the “Norbertines.” St Venerando the Centurian St Venerandus of Troyes
Martyrs of Emesa: Group of Christian women tortured and executed for their faith in the persecutions of the Arab chieftain Mady. They died in Emesa (modern Homs, Syria).
Martyrs of Heraclea – (3 Saints): Group of Christians murdered together for their faith. The only details we have are three of their names – Clementinus, Philomenus and Theodotus. They were Martyred in Heraclea, Thrace.
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