Thought for the Day – 21 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“This denial of ourselves to the extent of identifying our will with the Will of God, produces in us, a profound peace. The Saints scaled this height and found there that tranquility of spirit which led them to rejoice in martyrdom and dishonour.
It was this peace of soul which made the dying St Aloysius Gonzaga smile and say: “I am happy to be going.” It was this which enabled the saintly, Cardinal Fisher, when he was going to the scaffold, to behold a light which does not fail and say: “Commit to the Lord your way … He will make justice dawn for you like the light (Ps 36:5-6). This too, is why, the Imitation of Christ tells us that nobody is so free, as he who knows how to deny himself!””
Quote/s of the Day – 21 January – “The Month of the Most Holy Name of Jesus” – St Agnes (c 291- c 304) Virgin and Martyr – Ecclesiasticus 51:1-8, 12, Matthew 25:1-13 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/
“Our lamps are going out.”
“I have not become as wise as those five wise Virgins. … But I have become the most wretched of the foolish ones by failing to keep some oil for my lamp, namely, mercy together with virginity or, still more, the anointing from Baptism’s Sacred fount…
Therefore, the doors of the wedding hall are closed to me too, in my negligence. But, O my Bridegroom, while I am still in my body here below, listen to my soul, Your Bride… From now on, I will cry aloud piteously, “Oh, open to me Your Heavenly Door, bring me into Your Wedding Chamber on high, make me worthy of Your Holy Kiss, Your pure and spotless Embrace. Oh let me not hear the Voice saying it does not know me! I am blind; set alight with Your own Light my spirit’s extinguished flame!”
St Nerses Chnorhali (1102-1173) Armenian Bishop
“Remove from your lives the filth and uncleanness of vice. Your upright lives must make you the salt of the earth for yourselves and for the rest of humankind…”
St John of Capistrano OFM (1386-1456)
O Infinite Goodness – Act of Contrition By St Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621) – Doctor of the Church
O my God, I am exceedingly grieved, for having offended Thee and with my whole heart, I repent of the sins I have committed. I hate and abhor them above every other evil, not only because, by so sinning, I have lost heaven and deserved hell but still more because I have offended Thee, O infinite Goodness, who art worthy to be loved above all things. I most firmly resolve, by the assistance of Thy grace, never more to offend Thee for the time to come and to avoid those occasions which might lead me into sin. Amen
One Minute Reflection – 21 January – “The Month of the Most Holy Name of Jesus” – St Agnes (c 291- c 304) Virgin and Martyr – Ecclesiasticus 51:1-8, 12, Matthew 25:1-13 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/
“Watch, therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.” – Matthew 25:13
REFLECTION – “To prevent His disciples from questioning Him about the time of His Coming, Christ said, ‘Of that hour no-one knows, neither the Angels nor the Son. It is not for you to know the times or moments.’ (Mt 24:36; Apoc 1:7). He hid the time from us, so that we would be on the watch and so, that each of us might think that the Coming will happen in His own lifetime…
Be on the watch. When the body sleeps, nature gets the better of us. Then, our actions do not come from our will but by force, from the impulse of nature. When the soul is overcome by a heavy sleep of timidity or sadness, the enemy takes control of it and works through it what it does not want to do… The Lord’s command about vigilance, holds good for both parts of man. The body must avoid overpowering sleep and the soul must guard against sluggishness and timidity. In the words of scripture, “Awake you just,” (1Co 15:34) and “I rose up and Am still with you,” (Ps 138:18) and “Do not lose heart” (cf Ep 3:13)…
“Five of them were foolish and five of them were prudent,” the Lord says. Their virginity had nothing to do with Him calling them wise, for they were all virgins but rather, their good works. Even though your chastity is of angelic holiness, note well that the Angels’ holiness is free of all envy or other evil. So even though you are not rebuked for impurity, take care not to be so, for impatience or anger either… “Gird your loins” so that chastity may lighten our steps. “And light your lamps” (Lk 12:35) because the world is black as night, it stands in need of the light of the upright. “Your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father” (Mt 5:16).” – St Ephrem (306-373) Deacon in Syria, Father and Doctor of the Church [Commentary on the Diatessaron, 18, 15f. ; SC 121] (trans. cf Breviary).
PRAYER – Almighty, eternal God, Thou Who choose the weak things of the world to confound the strong, mercifully grant that we, who are celebrating the feast of blessed Agnes, Thy Virgin and Martyr, may reap the benefit of her patronal intercession with Thee. 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 – 21 January – Mary’s Saturday
To Thee We Cry, O Queen of Mercy! By St Bernard (1090-1153) Mellifluous Doctor of the Church
To thee we cry, O Queen of Mercy! Return, that we may behold thee, dispensing favours, bestowing remedies, giving strength. Ah, tender Mother! Tell thy All-powerful Son that we have no more wine. We are thirsty after the wine of His Love, of that marvellous wine, which fills souls with a holy inebriation, inflames them and gives them the strength to despise the things of this world and to seek, with ardour, Heavenly goods. Amen.
Saint of the Day – 21 January – Blessed Thomas Reynolds (1562-1642) Priest Marty.r Born in 1562 in Oxfordshire, England as Thomas Green and died by being hanged, drawn, and quartered on 21 January 1642 at Tyburn, London, England. Also known as – Richard Reynolds (not to be confused with the Saint of the same name, of the Order of Bridgettine Monks executed in England by Henry VIII), Thomas Green. Additional Memorials – 4 May as one of the 107 Martyrs of England and Wales, also known as Thomas Hemerford and One Hundred and Six Companion Martyrs, 29 October as one of the Martyrs of Douai, 1 December as one of the Martyrs of Oxford University. Thomas was Beatified on 15 December 1929 by Pope Pius XI.
We believe Thomas was born in Oxfordshire (or possibly Warwickshire) into a Catholic family. In keeping with the necessity of the times, he left England to study for the Priesthood on the continent, initially going to Rheims before continuing his studies from September 1590 in the English College, at Valladolid, Spain, as one of its first students and finally, at another newly founded Jesuit institution, the English College of St Gregory in Seville.
Thomas was Ordained a Priest in Seville in 1592 and immediately returned to England, where he ministered to the recusant Catholic community until his arrest in 1606, in the wave of anti-Catholic measures that were taken, following the Gunpowder Plot of November 1605. Whilst the duration of his early years of ministry reflected the slightly less difficult times for Catholics during that period, the Gunpowder Plot changed the atmosphere, making it far more hostile.
Thomas was one of the Priests who were fortunate, in being just exiled from England rather than immediately Martyred, in response to the Plot. However, he soon returned and once more set about caring for Catholics in secret. This he continued for about twenty years until he was arrested in 1628.
He was put on trial and condemned to death but given a reprieve at the behest of the Queen, Henrietta Maria, wife of Charles I, a Catholic. Although imprisoned, he was kept under relatively mild conditions which included being allowed to receive visitors readily. Many Catholics visited him, not only to offer him care and support but also for his spiritual guidance and the Sacraments.
In 1635 he was one of a number of Priests who would pay a bond and then be released from prison which allowed him to minister to the local Catholic population in London on a regular basis. With the Crown at that time having Catholic sympathies and the rather more anti-Catholic feelings of Parliamentarians being diffused due to Parliament’s long suspension, this was a period when the pressures on Catholics were eased. It was due to this that a number of Priests were able to act in a similar manner to Thomas.
The financial needs of King Charles I forced him to recall Parliament in 1640. At this time, Parliament was increasingly being dominated by Puritan protestants who were hostile to Catholicism. As a result, conditions for Catholics and Priests became far more difficult with Priests, once more, being confined full time to their prisons. The trials and death sentences for Priests resumed and one of the early victims was Thomas. Now eighty years of age, by nature a gentle and slightly timid person and being somewhat infirm, Thomas admitted his fears of facing execution and how he would be able to manage the ordeal he was soon to undergo. He spent his final couple of days in prayer and asking for the prayers of his fellow Priests, imprisoned with him.
On the morning of his execution, 21 January 1642, Thomas was embued by grace with a sense of complete peace and serenity. He had been filled with the courage and strength of Christ, so much so, that he was no longer afraid of what lay ahead and using supplies that had been brought to him in prison, he said his final Holy Mass, before being summoned to his execution.
On arrival at Tyburn, he addressed the assembled crowd for nearly half-an-hour. He pointed out that in forty years work as a Priest in England, no-one could testify to him having ever uttered a word of treason and that his sole aim had been to ‘reduce strayed souls to the fold of the Catholic Church.’ He added that he had no desire to criticise or meddle with the actions of Parliament but rather, that God would bless them and teach them what to do best for the kingdom. He extended his prayers to the King and Queen and all the Kingdom which he hoped would flourish. He concluded by asking forgiveness of all he had offended and granting forgiveness to any, who sought it for actions against him, particularly in regard to his imminant death. Turning to the sheriff overseeing the execution, he specifically thanked him and for his patience whilst he addressed the crowd and prayed, that God would reward him for that, by one day making him a saint in Heaven. The sheriff in turn commended himself to Reynolds and was heard to remark to one of those present that he had never seen a man die like Thomas. Having finished his address, Thomas knelt to pray. He and Roe were placed in the cart, embraced one another, then recited the Miserere Psalm in turn, until the cart was pulled away.
When the sheriff offered Thomas a blindfold, he replied: “I dare look death in the face.” The sheriff allowed the Martyrs to hang till they expired to spare them the suffering of being drawn and quartered, which he only carried out after they were dead. Catholics amongst the crowd, of which there were found to be many, came forwards to dip cloths in their blood to provide Relics for veneration.
Thomas Reynolds was Beatified by Pope Pius XI on 15 December 1929, therefore, he is among the group of One Hundred and Seven Martyrs of England and Wales. On the image below, our Blessed Thomas Reynolds appears at no 81, the 5th image on the second-last row.
St Agnes of Aislinger St Anastasius of Constantinople St Aquila of Trebizond St Brigid of Kilbride St Candidus of Trebizond Bl Edward Stransham
St Epiphanius of Pavia (c 439–496) Bishop of Pavia, Italy from from 466 until his death. Papal and Secular Mediator and Peacemaker, Known as – “Epiphanius the Peacemaker,” “The Glory of Italy,” “The Light of Bishops.” The Roman Martyrology for 21 January reads : “In Pavia, Saint Epifanio, Bishop , who, at the time of the barbarian invasions, worked zealously for the reconciliation of the peoples, for the liberation of prisoners and for the reconstruction of the destroyed City.” Biography: https://anastpaul.com/2022/01/21/saint-of-the-day-21-january-saint-epiphanius-of-pavia-439-496/
St Eugenius of Trebizond St Gunthildis of Biblisheim
Blessed Josefa María Inés de Benigánim OAD (1625–1696) Nun of the Discalced Augustinian Nuns with the religious name of “Josefa María of Saint Agnes,” Virgin, Mystic, gifted with the charism of prophecy and counsel. She became known for her profound spiritual and theological insight as well as for her severe austerities she practised during her life. Her body is incorrupt. Blessed Josefa was Beatified on 26 February 1888, at Saint Peter’s Basilica by Pope Leo XIII. Biography: https://anastpaul.com/2020/01/21/saint-of-the-day-21-january-blessed-josefa-maria-ines-de-beniganim-oad-1625-1696/
St Patroclus of Troyes St Publius of Malta (Died c 112) Bishop Blessed Thomas Reynolds (1562-1642) Priest Martyr St Valerian of Trebizond St Vimin of Holywood St Zacharias the Angelic
Mercedarian Nuns of Berriz – Three pious Mercedarian Nuns at the Monastery of Vera Cruz, Berriz, Spain who are remembered together on the Mercedarian calendar – Cristina, Mary Magdalene and Mary of Jesus.
Blessed Martyrs of Laval – 19 Beati: Fifteen men and four women who were Martyred in Laval, France by anti-Catholic French Revolutionaries. The were born in France and they were Martyred on several dates in 1794 in Laval, Mayenne, France. They were Beatified on 19 June 1955 by Pope Pius XII at Rome, Italy.
Blessed André Duliou
Blessed Augustin-Emmanuel Philippot
Blessed François Duchesne
Blessed François Migoret-Lamberdière
Blessed Françoise Mézière
Blessed Françoise Tréhet
Blessed Jacques André
Blessed Jacques Burin
Blessed Jean-Baptiste Triquerie
Blessed Jean-Marie Gallot
Blessed Jeanne Veron
Blessed John Baptist Turpin du Cormier
Blessed Joseph Pellé
Blessed Julien Moulé
Blessed Julien-François Morin
Blessed Louis Gastineau
Blessed Marie Lhuilier
Blessed Pierre Thomas
Blessed René-Louis Ambroise
Martyrs of Rome – 30 Saints: Thirty Christian soldiers executed together in the persecutions of Diocletian. They were Martyred in 304 in Rome, Italy.
Martyrs of Tarragona: Augurius, Eulogius, Fructuosus.
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