Thought for the Day – 4 January– Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Now, let us turn the spotlight on ourselves and think of our past lives. So many sins and abuses of God’s grace! Such coldness and ingratitude! Where has all this brought us? Spiritually, sin has deprived us of God and of the supernatural life which His grace gives us. Intellectually, it is an absurdity, a dishonour and a degradation. Physically, it is an inversion of the right order and often means total ruin.
Let us humbly repent, therefore and make resolutions so firm that we shall be ready to face any sacrifice, even death, in order to put them into practice.”
Quote/s of the Day – 4 January – “The Month of the Most Holy Name of Jesus” – Octave of the Holy Innocents – Apocalypse 14:1-5 , Matthew 2:13-18 –Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/
“If the world hates you, know that it has hated Me first.”
“He who raised Him from the dead will raise us also” (2Cor 4,14), if we do His Will and live by His Commands and love what He loved… Let us be imitators of His endurance and, if we suffer for His sake, let us glorify Him. For He set us this example Himself …”
St Polycarp (69-155) Apostolic Father, Bishop and Martyr
“Fix your minds on the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ. Inflamed with love for us, He came down from Heaven to redeem us. For our sake, He endured every torment of body and soul and shrank from no bodily pain. He, Himself, gave us an example of perfect patience and love. We, then, are to be patient, in adversity!”
“The recollection of an injury, is . . . a rusty arrow and poison for the soul.”
St Francis of Paola (1416-1507)
“You will be consoled according to the greatness of your sorrow and affliction; the greater the suffering, the greater will be the reward.”
St Maria Magdalena de’ Pazzi (1566-1607)
“I think He intends to try you like gold in the crucible, so as to number you amongst His most faithful servants. Therefore, you must lovingly embrace all occasions of suffering, considering them as precious tokens of His love. To suffer in silence and without complaint, is what He asks of you.”
St Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690) “Apostle of the Sacred Heart”
“Our Lord, Who saved the world, through the Cross, will only Work for the good of souls, through the Cross.”
One Minute Reflection – 4 January – “The Month of the Most Holy Name of Jesus” – Octave of the Holy Innocents – Apocalypse 14:1-5 , Matthew 2:13-18 –Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/
“For it will come to pass that Herod will seek the Child, to destroy Him.” – Matthew 2:14
REFLECTION – “The Apostle John said: “Whoever says he abides in Christ, ought to walk even as Christ walked” (1 Jn 2:6). Moreover, the blessed Apostle Paul exhorts and teaches us, saying: “We are God’s children but if children, then heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him that we may also be glorified together” (Rm 8:16f.) … Let us, beloved brethren, imitate righteous Abel, who initiated Martyrdom, he being the first to be slain for righteousness’s sake (Gn 4:8) … let us imitate the three children Ananias, Azarias and Misael, who … overcame the king by the power of faith (Dn 3) … What of the prophets whom the Holy Spirit quickened to a foreknowledge of future events? What of the Apostles whom the Lord chose? Since these righteous men were slain for righteousness’ sake, have they not taught us also to die?
The nativity of Christ at once witnessed the Martyrdom of infants, so that they, who were two years old and under were slain for His Name’s sake. An age, not yet fitted for the battle, appeared fit for the crown. That it might be manifest that they, who are slain for Christ’s sake, are innocent, innocent infancy was put to death for His Name’s sake … How grave is the case of a Christian, if he, a servant, is unwilling to suffer when his Master first suffered! … The Son of God suffered that He might make us sons of God and the son of man will not suffer that he may continue to be a son of God!? … The Maker and Lord of the world also warns us, saying: “If the world hates you, remember that it hated Me before you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own but because you are not of the world but I have chosen you out of the world ”… remember the word that I said to you: “The servant is not greater than his Lord” (Jn 15:18-20).” – St Cyprian of Carthage (c 200-258) Martyr, Bishop of Carthage, Father of the Church – Letter 55
PRAYER – O God, Whose praise the Innocents, Thy Martyrs, this day proclaimed, not by speaking but by dying, put to death in us all the wickedness of sin, so that Thy faith which our tongue professes, may be proclaimed also by our life. 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 – 4 January – Octave of the Holy Innocents – “The Month of the Most Holy Name of Jesus”
Salvete Flores Martyrum Hail, Ye Little Martyr Flowers By Prudentius (c 348 – c 413) (Aurelius Prudentius Clemens) The Renowned Poet
All Hail! ye infant Martyr flowers, Cut off in life’s first dawning hours. As rosebuds snap’t in temptest strife, When Herod sought Thy Saviours life.
Thou, tender flock of lambs, we sing, First victims slain for Christ Thy King. Beside the very altar, gay With palms and crowns, ye seem to play.
All honour, laud and glory be, O Jesu, Virgin-born, to Thee; All glory, as is ever meet, To Father and to Paraclete.
Salvete Flores Martyrum is the Office Hymn for Lauds on the Feast of the Holy Innocents (28 Dec). Its stanzas are drawn from Prudentius’ Epiphany Hymn, Cathemerinon and were first assembled in the 1568 Breviary of Pope Pius V.
Saint of the Day – 4 January – Saint Gregory of Langres (Died 539) Bishop of Langres and Dijon, Count and Governor, Father of 2 Sons and Widower, before being appointed as the Bishop of Langres, Ascetic, Miracle-worker. Great-grandfather of St Gregory of Tours. He ordered the translation of the Relics of Saint Benignus and built the Church and the Abbey of Saint-Benignus of Dijon. Born around around 446, as the Count of Autun, in Saone-et-Loire, modern France and died in 539 of natural causes. Also known as – Gregory of Autun, Gregory of Dijon. Additional Memorials – 13 May and 6 November (translation of relics).
The Roman Martyrology reads today: “At Langres, Gregory, Bishop, renowned for his miracles, Great-grandfater of St Gregory of Tours, who wrote of him.”
Gregory was a descendant of a rich family of Senators. After the death of his uncle, Attale, he became the Count of Autun. He was the Count and Governor of Autun and Autunois.
History retains the memory of a man firm and severe, yet fair. He was ruthless to cowards and bandits, kind and gentle with those in need and with the good and faithful servants of Christ..
Gregory had two sons of his union with Armentaire, daughter of Armentarius, Senator of Lyons. One of his sons, named Tetricus, became his successor to the Episcopal See of Langres. His second son, also named Gregory, became the grandfather of the famous St Gregory of Tours.
After the death of his wife, Gregory joined the Church. his biographer tells us that he was elected in 506 by the Clergy and the faithful of Langres to the Episcopal See. It is about this date that he founded the Abbey of Saint-Bénigne of Dijon – St Benignus, who was a Martyr who died in the 3rd Century, is the Patron Saint and first herald of Christianity of Dijon (Feast day 1 November). Gregory placed the Relics of St Benignus, the Apostle of Burgundy, in the Basilica he built at the Abbey. The Abbey Church built by Gregory was superseded by a Romanesque Basilica, which collapsed in 1272 and was replaced by the present Dijon Cathedral. He placed the Monastery under he care of Abbot Eustad.
Gregory was an exemplary shepherd, indulging in abstinence with great rigour, eating only bread made with barley, using only wine diluted with water and spending long hours in prayer. He lived “like an anchorite in the middle of the world”, according to St Gregory of Tours, his great-grandson.
He made frequent trips to Dijon, which at that time depended on the Diocese of Langres. He lived near the baptistery of Saint Vincent, near the Saint-Etienne Church. It was a place with many relics, where he came to pray at night. The legend tells us that one of the clerics watching him one night saw the revered saints coming to sing and glorify God with him. Saint Benignus too appeared to Gregory and told him that he was quite grieved that his cult was neglected. Gregory immediately renovated and restored the Shrine of the Martyr.
It was in his day that Abbot Sigo, who would be Canonised under the name of St Seine, came to the Abbey of Reome, under the spiritual direction of St Jean of Reome.
On his way to Langres to celebrate Epiphany, Gregory caught A cold and died on 4 January 539. He had held the Episcopal Seat for thirty-three years. He was buried, according to his wishes, in the Church of Saint-Jean de Dijon, near the baptistery. Legend has it that on the way to his funeral convoy, passing in front of the prison, the prisoners implored the deceased and that he performed a miracle – the gates of the penal establishment opened by themselves.
His son, Tetricus, who succeeded him in the Episcopal See of Langres, made a transfer of his father’s body, in order to raise a Monument worthy of his holiness. This event is commemorated on 6 November. Later, a second translation took place in 1282 – a part of his Relics were deposited in the Cathedral of Langres . Gui of Geneva , Bishop of Langres, deposited them in a silver box which was placed on a column behind the main Altar of Saint-Mammès. The Clergy assembled in Synod, participated in this ceremony.
St Ferreolus of Uzès St Gaius of Moesia St Gregory of Langres (Died 539) Bishop St Hermes of Moesia St Libentius of Hamburg Bl Louis de Halles St Mavilus of Adrumetum St Neophytos St Neopista of Rome St Oringa of the Cross Bl Palumbus of Subiaco
Martyrs of Africa – 7 Saints: A group of Christians Martyred together in the persecutions of the Arian Vandal king Hunneric. Saint Bede wrote about them. – Aquilinus, Eugene, Geminus, Marcian, Quintus, Theodotus and Tryphon. In 484 in North Africa.
Martyrs of Rome – 3 Saints: Three Christians Martyred together in the persecutions of Julian the Apostate for refusing to renounce Christianity as ordered. – Benedicta, Priscillianus and Priscus. In 362 in Rome, Italy.
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