Thought for the Day – 28 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Blessed are Those who Love Peace
“Peace is especially opposed to sentiments of anger and hatred against our brothers. It commands us to love and help them. Hatred is the heritage of Cain because God says that “he who does not love, abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murdere. And you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him” (1 Jn 3:15). A man who hates his brother may not actually kill him but, he is guilty of murdering him in his heart! As a result, he loses peace of soul because, as St Augustine points out (Sermon 82), by hating someone, you create disorder in yourself and destroy that Divine harmony which was the gift of Divine grace and charity.
If we wish to preserve interior peace, we must cast out from our hearts, every vestige of hatred for our neighbour and entertain love, understanding and forgiveness, for all. By loving our enemies, we place ourselves above them by an act of true Christian nobility. We imitate Jesus, Who forgave His executioners and prayed for them from the Cross.
A fit of anger is like a moment of madness. It is a great misfortune for anyone to yield to it. He speaks and acts like a man who has lost his reason and allows himself to be carried away by blind passion. When the moment of insanity is over, he will be ashamed of himself and of all that he has said and done.
It is necessary to be masters of ourselves and of our feelings. Never speak or act until anger has subsided within you. By persevering in co-operation with the grace of God, we presercve that inward calmness which is a reflection of the peace of God.”
Quote/s of the Day – 28 January – St Peter Nolasco OdeM (c 1182–c 1256) Confessor, Founder – 1 Corinthians 4:9-14, Luke 12:32-34 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/
“Sell what you possess and give alms. Make for yourselves purses which do not grow old, a treasure unfailing in Heaven, where neither thief draws near, nor moth destroys.”
“The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again and out of joy, goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.”
“It was Christ Who was present to all those to whom, from the beginning, God communicated His Speech and Word. If anyone, therefore, reads the Scriptures with attention, he will find in them, an expression of Christ and a foreshadowing of this new calling. For Christ is the Treasure which was hidden in the field, that is, in this world (Mt 13:38) – a Treasure hidden in the Scriptures, …” Thus it was, that the Lord explained the Scriptures to His disciples, after His Resurrection from the dead, proving to them, by their means, that “it was necessary the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory” (Lk 24:26). So, if anyone should likewise read the Scriptures that person will become a perfect disciple, “like the head of a household who brings from his storeroom things both new and old.” (Mt 13:52).
St Irenaeus of Lyons ((130-202) Bishop, Martyr, Father of the Church
“If you wish to be perfect, sell what you have and give to the poor and you will have treasure in Heaven.”
“In saying this I am speaking the truth because I am relying on the words of Him ,Who is Truth: “If you wish to be perfect, sell what you have and give to the poor and you will have treasure in Heaven” Mt 19:21). Do not be cast down by these words, lest the same thing be said to you, as to the rich young man: “It will be difficult for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of Heaven” (Mt 19:23). Still more, when you read this sentence, consider that death can snatch these possessions away from you that the aggression of someone powerful, can carry them away. At the end of the day, you will have seen no further than insignificant goods, in place of great wealth – these are no more than a treasure of coins, rather than treasures of grace. By their very nature, they perish, rather than remaining forever!”
St Ambrose (340-397) Father and Doctor of the Church
One Minute Reflection – 28 January – St Peter Nolasco OdeM (c 1182–c 1256) Confessor, Founder – 1 Corinthians 4:9-14, Luke 12:32-34 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/
“Sell what you possess and give alms. Make for yourselves purses which do not grow old, a treasure unfailing in Heaven, where neither thief draws near, nor moth destroys.” – Luke 12:33
REFLECTION – “You are a jailor of your wealth, not its owner, you who bury your gold in the ground (cf Mt 25:25); you are its slave and not its master. Christ said: “Where your treasure is there also your heart will be” so it is your heart you have buried. Rather, sell your gold and buy salvation; sell what is metal and acquire God’s Kingdom; sell the field and purchase for yourself eternal life!
In saying this I am speaking the truth because I am relying on the words of Him Who is Truth: “If you wish to be perfect, sell what you have and give to the poor and you will have treasure in Heaven” (Mt 19:21). Do not be cast down by these words, lest the same thing be said to you, as to the rich young man: “It will be difficult for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of Heaven” (Mt 19:23). Still more, when you read this sentence, consider that death can snatch these possessions away from you that the aggression of someone powerful, can carry them away. At the end of the day, you will have seen no further than insignificant goods, in place of great wealth – these are no more than a treasure of coins, rather than treasures of grace. By their very nature, they perish, rather than remaining forever!” – St Ambrose (340-397) Bishop of Milan, Father and Doctor of the Church (Naboth the poor, 58).
PRAYER – O God, Thou Who, as an example of Thy love, divinely taught St Peter to enrich Thy Church with new offspring, a family of Religious devoted to the ransom of the faithful, grant by his intercession that we may be released from the slavery of sin and rejoice in lasting freedom in Heaven. 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 – 28 January – Mary’s Saturday
O Mary, Twice Mother of Mercy By St Jerome Emiliani (1486–1537)
O Mary, thou art twice Mother of Mercy because thou hast been made Mother of our most merciful Saviour, and, furthermore because, thou hast given to us so many signs of thy maternal care and love. Turn upon us, we beseech thee, thy glance of compassion and grant, that we may always live free from sin, which is the only impediment to receiving the fruits of the Divine Mercies. Amen.
Saint of the Day – 28 January – Saint Julián of Cuenca (1127-1208) the second Bishop of Cuenca, Spain from c 1196 until his death. Professor, Hermit, Reformer, Miracle-worker, basket-weaver using the money he gained from this trade to support the poor and needy, He was also a regular visitor to prisoners, assisting them spiritually and with material succour. Born as Julián Ben Tauro in c 1127 at Burgos, Spain and died on 28 January 1208 in Cuenca, Spain of natural causes, aged around 80 years. Patronages – basket-weavers, for rain, of the City and Diocese of Cuenca. Also known as – Julian of Burgos. Canonised on 18 October 1594 by Pope Clement VIII.
Most details we have collected about Saint Julián’s life are due to tradition (mixed with “pious” stories), writings that developed, especially from the 16th Century. These writings depict a holy man, chosen by God from the mother’s womb (like the prophets), a man full of humility and apostolic zeal, great benefactor of the poor, with a deep and intense spirit of prayer and great devotion to the Virgin Mary.
Julián’s name was Julián Ben Tauro (meaning Julián son of Tauro). His surname indicates his Mozarab ancestry – that is, Christians who lived in Muslim kingdoms, thus, in a delicate position. This document leads most historians to state the Toledan Mozarab origins of Julián.
Historical sources do not offer much information on the early life of Julián, except that he was born in Burgos to the nobleman Tauro. He studied at the Cathedral school there before he studied at the University of Palencia where he earned his Doctorate. In 1153, he was appointed a Professor in the philosophical and theological departments in Palencia in 1153. During his time in Palencia he worked as a basket-weaverr in order to earn extra income for the poor, as well to support himself.
In 1163 he left Palencia and his teaching duties to live a life of solitude in a modest house outside Burgos, located on the banks of the Arlanzón. He was Ordained to the Priesthood in 1166 after having received the minor orders. He and his servant, Lesmes lived a life of mortification and contemplation. The two then took to the road as itinerant preachers and reached both Córdoba and Toledo in 1191. A note about Lesmes – “the figure of Lesmes, the loyal servant who would not leave the company of Saint Julián until his death.”
But this solitude and travelling ended in 1191 when the Archbishop of Toledo, Martín II López de Pisuerga appointed Julián as the Archdeacon at Toledo. He exercised his administrative duties but continued preaching, as well as making baskets in order to generate income for the poor. From 1196, Julián served as the Archdeacon until the Bishop of Cuenca, Juan Yáñez died and Alfonso VIII of Castile chose Julián to succeed him.
The Archbishop of Toledo conferred Episcopal Consecration upon him that June of 1196. Julián was known for his almsgiving and he visited the poor in prisons too. His outreach to all faiths was equally generous and kind, as was his desire to make pastoral visits to care for the faithful in his Diocese. He often offered grain to the poor to alleviate their suffering and also aided the poor peasant farmers in the region.
He continued to preach during his travels to all the areas in his Diocese, as well as reforming the practices of the Diocesan Priests in addition to engaging with charitable organisations to better help the poor. He likewise supported these charities to provide for the needs of his flock, in addition to the Jews and Muslims. On an annual basis, he would retire to live a life of solitude and contemplation and continued his habit of making baskets. There is a wonderful miracle reported that one day Jesus Himself appeared to him in the guise of a beggar, in order to thank him.
He died in his Diocese in 1208. His remains were housed in the Cuenca Cathedral but his body was re-interred in 1578 under an Altar built in his honour in a side Chapel at the same Cathedral.
In the Reading V of the Office it is stated that “he was a true father of the poor and used his money and his talents to help the needy, widows and orphans. He used the yield of his Church to help the miserable, as well as to establish and decorate the Churches, using little support for himself, obtaining what he needed personally with his own hands. He was devoted to prayer, through which he achieved from God many and great things for his people. The beautiful miracle is related as follows: Since the whole Diocese suffered shortage of grain and nothing was left in the Episcopal barns, taking pity on the people suffering this great calamity, he prayed fervently to the Lord along with many tears. Then it occurred that a huge quantity of grain was transported to the gates of the Episcopal palace carried by numerous donkeys, which disappeared after leaving their load.
In memory and as a tribute to the charity of Saint Julián, the Chapter established at the beginning of the 15th century the “Chest of Saint Julián” or “of the Alms”, which became a charitable institution to attend the urgent needs of the dispossessed. Essentially it gave daily alms of bread, ensured the upbringing and accommodation of orphan children and provided dowries so orphan ladies could marry, something otherwise impossible given the customs and the way of thinking at the time. (This Chest was perpetuated in Cuenca until recent times).
According to the old obituaries of Cuenca’s Bishopric, the death or departure of Saint Julián took place on 20th January 1208, at the age of 80. However, his celebration was set on the 28th of the same month, probably for the sake of liturgical-pastoral expediency, and during centuries his festivity has been celebrated on that date in Cuenca and in other places where he is greatly venerated.
As the tradition brings to light and is easy to imagine, Saint Julián was a great preacher, going through many places of Spain preaching the Gospel of Salvation. He was an excellent missionary, also within Cuenca’s recently created Diocese, repopulated with peoples from the North, as a result of the re-conquest. Despite the many difficulties of travelling from one place to another, Julián spared no effort to preach the Gospel to everyone, as the Lord commended after His Resurrection.
Saint Julián’s Canonisation was solemnised under Pope Clement VIII on 18 October 1594.
The Second Feast of St Agnes: 28 January is traditionally the day of the “Second Feast of St Agnes,” although this very ancient observance was reduced to a commemoration in 1931 and abolished in the post-Vatican II reform (1969). It is still kept in some Churches dedicated to St Agnes, most prominent among them, the Basilica built over the site of her burial, less than a mile and a half from the gates of Rome. In liturgical books, the formal name of the feast is “Sanctae Agnetis secundo,” which literally means “the feast of St Agnes for the second time.” This title is found on the calendar of the Tridentine Missal and Breviary, as also seven centuries earlier in the Gregorian Sacramentary. The single Matins lesson in the Breviary of St Pius V tells us, that after her death, Agnes appeared first to her parents to console them and then to the Emperor Constantine’s daughter Constantia, who suffered from an incurable sore, while she was praying at her grave, exhorting Constantia to trust in Christ and receive Baptism. Having done this and been healed, Constantia later built a Basilica in the Saint’s honour.
St Aemilian of Trebi Bl Amadeus of Lausanne St Antimus of Brantôme St Archebran Bl Bartolomé Aiutamicristo St Brigid of Picardy St Callinicus St Cannera of Inis Cathaig Bl Charlemagne (a decree of Canonisation was issued by the anti-pope Paschal III but this was never ratified by valid authority.) St Constantly St Flavian of Civita Vecchia St Glastian of Kinglassie Bl James the Almsgiver St James the Hermit St Jean de Réomay
St Julian of Cuenca (c 1127-1208) Bishop St Leucius of Apollonia St Maura of Picardy Bl Odo of Beauvais St Palladius of Antioch St Paulinus of Aquileia St Richard of Vaucelles St Thyrsus of Apollonia
Martyrs of Alexandria: A group of 4th-century lay faithful in Alexandria, Egypt. During the celebration of Mass one day an Arian officer named Syrianus led a troop of soldiers into their church and proceded to murder all the orthodox Christians in the place. 356 in Alexandria, Egypt.
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