Thought for the Day – 31 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Men of the world look at the outward appearance of things and are often satisfied with that. Many of them desire and long for physical beauty, wealth, high social status and honours. It does not matter to them if beneath this splendid facade, there are concealed, a mean and impoverish spirit, a corrupt and dishonest heart, an egotism indifferent to noble ideals and an astuteness intent on ousting potential rivals. All this is unimportant, as long as they are successful and can keep up appearances,
We tend to live for what others think and say about us, in other words, for external appearances. Is this you?”
One Minute Reflection – 31 January – St John Bosco “Don Bosco” SDB (1815-1888) Priest, Confessor, Founder. – Philippians 4:4-9 , Matthew 18:1-5 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/
“And whoever receives one such little child for My sake, receives Me.” – Matthew 18:5
REFLECTION – “Scripture calls all of us “children” and, when we begin to follow Christ, we receive the name of “little children” (Mt 18:3; Jn 21:5)… So Who is our Instructor and Tutor, the Tutor we have when we are small? He is called Jesus. He calls Himself “Shepherd” by Name, referring to Himself as “the Good Shepherd” (Jn 10:11). He makes a comparison between shepherds guiding their sheep and Himself, the Tutor who guides small children, the Shepherd full of concern for the lambs which, in their simplicity, He compares with the sheep. “They will all be one flock,” He says, “because there will be One Shepherd” (Jn 10:16). Therefore, our Tutor is, of course, the Word of God because He leads us to salvation. As He clearly declared through the mouth of the prophet Hosea: “I am your Teacher” (5:2 LXX).
As for His instruction, that is, the religious formation by which He teaches us how to serve God, forming us in the knowledge of the truth and leading us straight to Heaven… Pilots guide their ships with the intention of bringing their passengers safely to harbour; in the same way, our Tutor, in the care He bears towards us, points God’s children towards the way of life leading to salvation… Thus, He, Who leads us is our holy God, Jesus, God’s Word, all humanity’s guide! God Himself leads us in His love for us… The Holy Spirit said of Him during the Exodus: “He found him in the wilderness, a wasteland of howling desert. He shielded him and cared for him, guarding him as the apple of His eye. As an eagle incites its nestlings forth by hovering over its brood, so He spreads His wings to receive him and bore him up on His pinions. The Lord alone was his Leader” (Dt 32:10-12).” – St Clement of Alexandria (c 150-c 215) Theologian and Philosopher, Professor who taught at the Catechetical School of Alexandria, Father of the Church (Pedagogue, I, 53-56).
PRAYER – O God, Who in Thy Confessor, blessed John, raised up a father and teacher of youth and willed that through him, with the help of the Virgin Mary, new religious families should bloom in the Church, grant, we beseech Thee, that , inflamed by the same fire of love, we may seek to win souls and to serve Thee alone. 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 – 31 January – St John Bosco “Don Bosco” SDB (1815-1888) Priest, Confessor, Founder.
Most Holy Virgin Mary, Help of Christian By St John Bosco (1815-1888)
Most Holy Virgin Mary, Help of Christians, how sweet it is to come to thy feet imploring thy perpetual help. If earthly mothers cease not to remember their children, how can thou, the most loving of all mothers, forget me? Grant then to me, I implore thee thy perpetual help in all my necessities, in every sorrow and especially in all my temptations. I ask for thy unceasing help for all who are now suffering. Help the weak, cure the sick, convert sinners. Grant through thy intercession, many vocations to the religious life. Obtain for us, O Mary, Help of Christians, that having invoked thee on earth we may love and eternally thank thee in Heaven. Amen
Saint of the Day – 31 January – Blessed Louise degli Albertoni TOSF (1474-1533) Widow, Mother, Mystic, Ecstatic, Apostle of the sick, the poor, the deprived, Miracle-worker. Born in1474 as Ludovica Albertoni in Rome, Italy and died on 31 January 1533 in Rome of natural causes. Beatified on 28 January 1671 by Pope Clement X. Also known as – Ludovica, Louisa Albertoni, Ludovica Albertoni Cetera.
Louise first saw the light of the world at Rome in the year 1474. Her parents belonged to the distinguished families of this City because of their wealth but still more because of their piety. They bestowed great care upon the training of their daughter and she responded fully to their efforts, so that she developed into a model for all young women. She had resolved to remain unmarried but when her parents urged her to be betrothed to an illustrious young man, she believed she recognised the will of God in their desire and agreed to the marriage.
But even in the married state, in which she remained attached to her husband with genuine love, she sought above all things to please God. Her attire was very plain, and even away from home, she avoided frivolous pomp and luxury. God blessed their union with three daughters, whom she was careful to rear, above all, in the love and fear of God.
When Blessed Louise Albertoni was but thirty-three years old, she lost her husband to death. After her daughters were provided for, Louise thought of nothing but to dedicate herself to the service of God. Publicly she took the habit of the Third Order, practiced the severest penances and was so irresistibly drawn to the contemplation of the sufferings of Our Lord and they were so constantly before her mind that she continually wept,and it was feared that she would lose her sight.
Louise lived a pious life, working for the poor of the Trastevere neighbourhood, under the guidance of the Franciscan Friars of San Francesco Church, where she would be buried in 1533. She bore a great love for the poor as special members of Christ. She used the abundant income of her fortune entirely for their support. But she strove to conceal her liberality. With this intention she often hid pieces of money in the bread that was given to the poor at her door and then begged Almighty God that He would let it fall to the lot of such as needed it most. Her benevolence knew no bounds. Sometimes she lacked even the necessaries for herself. But then, she rejoiced to be like Christ, who, being rich, became poor out of love for men.
God repaid her with extraordinary graces. He granted her the gift of miracles and frequent ecstasy. He also told her beforehand of the day of her death.
When her end drew nigh, she received the last Sacraments with great devotion. Then gazing upon the Crucifix with the tenderest pity, she kissed it and said: “Into Thy hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.” Thereupon she breathed forth her soul on the day that had been announced to her, which was 31 January 1533.
Her body rests in the Church of St Francis on the Tiber and her Feast is celebrated in Rome with great solemnity. Pope Clement X Beatified Blessed Louise Albertoni in 1671.
The Bernini figure of Ludovica Albertoni, above,is set above the Altar of the Altieri Chapel on the left side of the Church of San rancesco. Bernini designed an architectural setting that focuses attention on the marble sculpture, framing it within an archway he cut into an existing wall where a painting had previously hung. The main figure is flanked by deep returns set at oblique angles decorated with earlier frescoes of Saint Clare of Assisi and Blessed Ludovica herself providing alms to a beggar. The central figure is lit on both sides by large windows concealed by the returns.
The figure of Ludovica Albertoni is presented on a mattress at the moment of mystical communion with God. The folds of her habit reflect her state of turmoil and her head is thrown back onto an embroidered pillow supported by a headrest. Beneath her figure is a deeply crumpled sculpted cloth above a red-marble Sarcophagus, where Ludovica is interred. The panel behind her is carved with stylized pomegranates, flaming hearts adorn the base of the windows. She is surrounded by putti and waiting to rise to the Light of Heaven.
St Geminian of Modena Bl John Angelus St Julius of Novara Blessed Louise degli Albertoni TOSF (1474-1533) Widow, Mystic, Ecstatic, Apostle of the sick, the poor, the deprived, Miracle-worker. St Madoes St Marcella St Martin Manuel St Nicetas of Novgorod St Tryphaena of Cyzicus St Tysul St Ulphia of Amiens St Waldo of Evreux St Wilgils
Martyrs of Corinth – 14 Saints: A group of Christians tortured and Martyred together in Corinth, Greece in the persecutions of Decius. We know nothing about them except some names – Anectus, Claudius, Codratus, Crescens, Cyprian, Diodorus, Dionysius, Nicephorus, Papias, Paul, Serapion, Theodora, Victor and Victorinus.
Martyrs of Canope: A group of Christians tortured and Martyred together in Corinth, Greece in the persecutions of Decius. We know nothing about them except some names – Anectus, Claudius, Codratus, Crescens, Cyprian, Diodorus, Dionysius, Nicephorus, Papias, Paul, Serapion, Theodora, Victor and Victorinus.
Martyred in Alexandria, Egypt: Cyriacus Metranus Saturninus Tarskius Thyrsus Victor Zoticus
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