Thought for the Day – 31 March – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Do I ever think of all that I have cost Jesus? Do I ever meditate on His Infinite Love for me? If I could constantly bear in mind the work of Redemption and the Passion of Jesus Christ, I should certainly never offend God and I should be on fire with love for Him. Moreover, if in time of temptation, I were to pray earnestly before the image of Christ Crucified, I should certainly succeed in my resistance, by asking the suffering Lord for His Divine assistance.
If by some misfortune, however, I should fall into sin, it should suffice to kiss the Crucifix in order to revive my confidence in Christ, to rouse myself to sorrow, to obtain pardon and to begin a new life. That should be the fruit of the Redemption for me.”
Quote of the Day – 31 March – Friday in Passion Week, the Fifth Friday in Lent, Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows – Judith 13:22, 25, John 19:25-27 – – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/
At the cross her station keeping, Stood the mournful Mother weeping, Close to Jesus to the last. Through her heart, His sorrow sharing, All His bitter anguish bearing, Now at length the sword had passed.
Oh, how sad and sore distressed Was that Mother highly blest, Of the sole begotten One! Christ above in torment hangs. She beneath beholds the pangs Of her dying glorious Son.
Is there one who would not weep, Whelmed in miseries so deep, Christ’s dear Mother to behold? Can the human heart refrain From partaking in her pain, In that Mother’s pain untold?
Bruised, derided, cursed, defiled, She beheld her tender Child, All with bloody scourges rent. For the sins of His own nation, Saw Him hang in desolation Till His spirit forth He sent.
O thou Mother: fount of love! Touch my spirit from above, Make my heart with thine accord. Make me feel as thou hast felt; Make my soul to glow and melt With the love of Christ my Lord.
Holy Mother, pierce me through; In my heart each wound renew Of my Savior crucified. Let me share with thee His pain, Who for all my sins was slain, Who for me in torment died.
Let me mingle tears with thee, Mourning Him who mourned for me, All the days that I may live. By the Cross with thee to stay; There with thee to weep and pray, Is all I ask of thee to give.
Virgin of all virgins best, Listen to my fond request: Let me share thy grief divine. Let me to my latest breath, In my body bear the death Of that dying Son of thine.
Wounded with His every wound, Steep my soul till it hath swooned In His very blood away. Be to me, O Virgin, nigh, Lest in flames I burn and die, In His awful Judgment day.
Christ, when Thou shalt call me hence, Be Thy Mother my defense, Be Thy Cross my victory. While my body here decays, May my soul Thy goodness praise, Safe in Paradise with Thee. Amen
Note: This text of the Stabat Mater is one of over 60 translations of this famous 13th Century Latin Hymn/Prayer. The Author is uncertain but is believed to be either St Jacopone da Todi OFM (1230-1306) or Pope Innocent III (1161-1216)[reigned from from 8 January 1198 until his death on 16 July 1216]. The title comes from its first line, “Stabat Mater dolorosa” – which means “the sorrowful mother was standing.” It is often used when praying the Stations of the Cross. The original Latin text of the Stabat Mater has also been set to music by such composers as Haydn, Rossini, and Poulenc.
Our Lenten Journey with St Francis de Sales – 31 March – – Friday in Passion Week, The Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin
“Blessed is the soul, which thus everywhere, finds Jesus Christ Crucified!” St Francis de Sales
FRIDAY IN PASSION WEEK The Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor Caritas
“St Paul, the incomparable master, the great Doctor of the Infant Church, made Jesus Christ on the Cross the delightful object of his love, the sweet subject of his discourses, the end of all his aspirations in this world and the foundation of all his hopes in eternity. “I have judged myself,” he says, “to know nothing but my Jesus Crucified; God forbid that I should ever glory in any other thing. than in the Cross of my Jesus and think not that I have any other life, than that of the Cross; for I assure you, that I so feel and behold everywhere, the Cross of my Saviour, that by His grace I am altogether crucified to the world and the world is entirely crucified to me.” Blessed is the soul, which thus everywhere, finds Jesus Christ Crucified!” – (Consoling Thoughts of St Francis de Sales).
REFLECTION – “Mary, the Mother of the Lord, stood by her Son’s Cross. No-one has taught me this but the holy Evangelist John. Others have related how the earth was shaken at the Lord’s Passion, the sky was covered with darkness, the sun withdrew itself and how, the thief was, after a faithful confession, received into paradise. John tells us what the others have not told, how the Lord, while fixed on the Cross called to His Mother. He thought it was more important that, victorious over His sufferings, Jesus gave her the offices of piety, than that He gave her a Heavenly Kingdom. For if it is the mark of religion to grant pardon to the thief, it is a mark of much greater piety, that a mother is honoured with such affection, by her Son. “Behold,” He says, “thy son.” “Behold thy mother.” Christ testified from the Cross and divided the offices of piety, between the mother and the disciple.
Nor was Mary below what was becoming the Mother of Christ. When the Apostles fled, she stood at the Cross and with pious eyes beheld her Son’s wounds. For she did not look to the death of her offspring but to the salvation of the world. Or perhaps, because that “royal hall” knew, that the redemption of the world would be through the death of her Son, she thought that by her death, she also might add something to that universal gift. But Jesus did not need a helper, for the redemption of all, Who saved all without a helper. This is why He says, “I am counted among those who go down to the pit. I am like those who have no help.” He received indeed, the affection of His Mother but sought not another’s help. Imitate her, holy mothers, who in her only dearly beloved Son, set forth so great an example of maternal virtue. For neither have you sweeter children, nor did the Virgin seek the consolation of being able to bear another son.” – St Ambrose (340-397) Archbishop of Milan, Great Western Father and Doctor (Letter 63)
PRAYER – O God, in Whose Passion the sword, according to the prophecy of blessed Simeon, pierced through the soul of Mary, the glorious Virgin and Mother, mercifully grant that we, who reverently commemorate her piercing through and her suffering, may, by the interceding glorious merits of all the saints faithfully standing by the Cross, obtain the abundant fruit of Thy Passion. Through the same 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 March – Friday in Passion Week, the Fifth Friday in Lent, Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows
My Sorrowful Mother, Help Me to Bear My Crosses By St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) Doctor of the Church
My sorrowful Mother, by the merit of that grief which you felt at seeing your beloved Jesus led to death, obtain for me the grace to bear with patience, those crosses which God sends me. I will be fortunate if I also shall know how to accompany you with my cross until death. You and Jesus, both innocent, have borne a heavy cross and shall I, a sinner who has merited hell, refuse mine? Immaculate Virgin, I hope you will help me to bear my crosses with patience. Amen
Saint of the Day – 31 March – St Agigulf (Died 751) Martyr, Monk, Abbot of Stavelot, Archbishop of Cologne, Died by being murdered in 751 in Cologne, Austrasia (in modern Germany). Also known as – Agigulfus, Agilolfo, Agilulfo, Agilulfus, Agilulph. Additional. Memorials – 6 July (translation of relics), 9 July (translation of relics to Cologne, Germany).
Apart from his name, very little is known about Bishop Agigulf. He came from a good family and was educated under Abbot Angelinus at Stavelot. A short time after succeeding as Abbot of Stavelot, Agigulf became Bishop of Cologne.
He is said to have tried to persuade King Pepin to leave his throne to someone other than Charles Martel, due to Charles’ illegitimacy. Agigulf’s violent end soon after this consulation, could be a result of Martel seeking revenge.
A letter of Pope Zachary in 747 commended Agigulf for signing the Decree on Orthodoxy.
Agigulf. was immediately venerated as a Martyr. In 1062 Bishop St Anno I, brought his remains to the Church of Our Lady of the Steps at Cologne. In 1893, St Agifulf’s Relics re-enshrined and put on public display in Cologne Cathedral
The image below is the Altarpiece of St Agigulf in Cologne Cathedral. It contains seens from the Passion of Christ as well as from the lives of St Agigulf and St Anno I.
St Machabeo of Armagh Bl Mary Mamala St Mella of Doire-Melle St Renovatus of Merida
Martyrs of Africa – 4 Saints: A group of Christians Martyred together for their faith. No details have survived except for of their names – Anesius, Cornelia, Felix and Theodulus. They were martyred in Roman pro-consular Africa.
Thought for the Day – 30 March – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Sons of God
“If we wish to increase in ourselves the Divine Life of Grace, which makes us children of God, we must struggle against our sinful inclinations and cultivate the different virtues which oftentimes, the world hates. Our lives must be a continuous ascent towards perfection and towards God. We must not be led astray by the passing attractions of the world. Worldly glory and success resemble the coloured balloons which are the delight of children as they rise up towards the sky but, which soon float back to earth, when they have been emptied of air.
It is only by our efforts to achieve Christian perfection that we can become true children of God. Then we shall experience a little happiness on earth and shall be happy forever in Heaven.”
Quote/s of the Day – 30 March – Thursday in Passion Week – Daniel 3:25, 34-45, Luke 7:36-50 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/
“She began to bathe His feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed His feet and anointed them with ointment.”
“Do not content yourself with confessing your venial sins merely as to the fact but accuse yourself too, of the motive which induced you to commit them.” (Introduction to the Devout Life, Part II, Chapter 19).
“We must be very sorry for faults with a repentance which is strong, constant, tranquil but not troubled, unquiet or fainthearted.” (Treatise on the Love of God, Book 9, Chapter 7).
“Christ was more concerned with St. Peter’s repentance and remorse, than with his sin.” (The Spirit of St. François de Sales, VII, 8)
Our Lenten Journey with St Francis de Sales – 30 March – Thursday in Passion Week
“Live Jesus, Who didst die that my soul might live!” St Francis de Sales (1567-1622)
THURSDAY IN PASSION WEEK St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor Caritas
“MY SOUL, live henceforward amid the scourges and the thorns of thy Saviour and there, as a nightingale in its bush, sing sweetly: Live Jesus, Who didst die that my soul might live! Ah, Eternal Father! What can the world return Thee for the gift Thou hast made it of Thy only Son? Alas! to redeem a thing so vile as I, the Saviour delivered Himself to death and, unhappy me! I hesitate to surrender my nothingness to Him, Who has given me everything!” – (Consoling Thoughts of St Francis de Sales).
One Minute Reflection – 30 March – “The Month of the St Joseph” – Thursday in Passion Week – Daniel 3:25, 34-45, Luke 7:36-50 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/
“She began to bathe His feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed is feet and anointed them with ointment.” – Luke 7:38
REFLECTION – “With her hands of good works, she holds the feet of those who preach His Kingdom. She washes them with tears of charity, kisses them with praising lips and pours out the whole ointment of mercy, until He will turn to her. This means that He will come back to her and say to Simon, to the Pharisees, to those who deny, to the nation of the Jews, “I came into your house. You gave me no water for my feet.”
When will He speak these words? He will speak them when He will come in the Majesty of His Father and separate the righteous from the unrighteous, like a shepherd who separates the sheep from the goats. He will say, “I was hungry and you did not give me to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me no drink. I was a stranger and you did not take me in.” This is equivalent to saying, “But this woman, while she was bathing my feet, anointing them and kissing them, did to the servants, what you did not do for the Master.” She did for the feet, what you refused to the Head. She expended upon the lowliest members, what you refused to your Creator. Then He will say to the Church, “Your sins, many as they are, are forgiven you because you have loved much.”– St Peter Chrysologus (c 400-450) Bishop of Ravenna, Father and “Doctor of Homilies” (Sermon 95).
PRAYER – Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that the dignity of human nature, weakened by excessive self-indulgence, may be restored by the earnest practice of healing self-denial. 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 – 30 March –“The Month of the St Joseph”- As tomorrow is the Lenten Friday of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin, let us bid St Joseph’s month goodbye today.
Ad Te, Beate Joseph To Thee, O Blessed Joseph By Pope Leo XIII (1810-1903)
O most watchful Guardian of the Holy Family, defend the chosen children of Jesus Christ. O most loving father, ward off from us, every contagion of error and corrupting influence. O our most mighty protector, be propitious to us and from heaven assist us in our struggle with the power of darkness and, as once you rescued the Child Jesus from deadly peril, so now protect God’s Holy Church from the snares of the enemy and from all adversity. Shield, too, each one of us by your constant protection, so that, supported by your example and your aid, we may be able to live piously, to die holy and to obtain eternal happiness in Heaven. Amen
Saint of the Day – 30 March – Blessed Joachim of Fiore (c1130-1202) Priest, Abbot, Founder, Theologian, Mystic, Writer. Joachim was the Founder of the monastic Order of San Giovanni in Fiore. Later followers, inspired by his works in Eschatology and Historicism theories, are called Joachimites. Born in c1130 at Celico, Calabria, Kingdom of Naples (in modern Italy) and died on 30 March 1202 at Fiore, Calabria, Italy of natural causes. Also known as – Joachim de Floris, Joachim of Flora, Joachim the Prophet, Joachim von Fiore, Gioacchino…
Joachim’s father, Maurus de Celico (whose family name is said to have been Tabellione), a notary holding high office under the Norman Kings of Sicily, placed him at an early age in the Royal Court. While on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, Joachim was converted from the world by the sight of some great calamity (perhaps an outbreak of pestilence). He passed the whole of Lent in contemplation on Mount Thabor, where he received celestial illumination for the work of his life, as he recorded in his own writings.
Returning to Italy, he retired to the Cistercian Abbey of Sambucina, probably in 1159 and for some years devoted himself to lay preaching, without taking the religious habit or receiving any orders. The Ecclesiastical authorities raising objections to his mode of life, he took the Cistercian Habit in the Abbey of Corazzo and was Ordained to the Priesthoof, apparently in 1168. He now applied himself entirely to Biblical study, with a special view to the interpretation of the hidden meaning of the Scriptures.
A few years later, much against his will, he was elected Abbot. Finding the duties of his office an intolerable hindrance to what he deemed his higher calling. In 1182, he appealed, to Pope Lucius III, who relieved him of the temporal care of his Abbey, and warmly approved of his work, bidding him continue it in whatever Monastery he thought best.
He spent the following year and a half at the Abbey of Casamari, engaged upon his three great works and there. a young Monk, Lucas (afterwards Archbishop of Cosenza), who acted as his secretary, tells us of his amazement at seeing so famous and eloquent a man wearing such rags and of the wonderful devotion with which he preached and celebrated Holy Mass.
In 1185, the Papal approbation was confirmed by Urban III, and again, more conditionally, by Clement III, in 1187, the latter exhorting him to make no delay in completing his work and submitting it to the judgement of the Holy See. Joachim now retired to the hermitage of Pietralata and finally founded the Abbey of Fiore (or Flora) among the Calabrian mountains, which became the centre of a new and stricter branch of the Cistercian Order, approved by Celestine III in 1198. In 1200 Joachim publicly submitted all his writings to the examination of Innocent III but died before any judgement was passed.
Finally, in 1196, he received Papal permission to establish his own congregation, “San Giovanni in Fiore.” Three Popes encouraged his mystical writings but the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215 found his Trinitarian doctrine unacceptable, nevertheless, his reputation for sanctity was acknowledged and safeguarded.
It was held to be in answer to his prayers that he died on Holy Saturday. The holiness of his life is unquestionable; miracles were wrought at his tomb and, although never officially beatified, he is still venerated as a beatus on 30 May and in many places he is known as St Joachim.
Some of Joachim’s theories were disputed by St Thomas Aquinas in his Summa Theologica (written 1265-1274). Dante, on the other hand, voiced the general opinion of his age in declaring Joachim one “endowed with prophetic spirit.” But he himself always disclaimed the title of prophet. Joachim also completed a concordence of the Old and New Testaments, based on a moment of insight he was given upon waking one Easter morning. One of his works was condemned and refuted by the Church and some of his followers too were outlawed.
Of vital importance is the fact that Joachim himself was never condemned as a heretic by the Church – rather, the ideas and movement surrounding him were condemned. Joachim the man was held in high regard during his lifetime and after his death.
St Leonard Murialdo St Mamertinus of Auxerre St Osburga of Coventry St Pastor of Orléans St Patto of Werden St Quirinus the Jailer
St Peter Regalatus OFM (1320-1456) Priest, Friar of the Friars Minor, Superior, gifted with bi-location, prophecy and Miracle working. He was Canonised on 29 June 1746 by Pope Benedict XIV. The Roman Martyrology reads: “In Aguilera in Castile in Spain, Saint Peter Regalado of Valladolid, Priest of the Order of Minors, who was distinguished for humility and rigour of penance and built two cells, in which only twelve Friars could live in solitude.” About this zealous Saint: https://anastpaul.com/2022/03/30/saint-of-the-day-30-march-saint-peter-regalatus-ofm-1320-1456/
St Regulus of Scotland St Regulus of Senlis St Secundus of Asti St Tola St Zozimus of Syracuse
Martyrs of Constantinople: Fourth-century Christians who were exiled, branded on the forehead, imprisoned, tortured, impoverished and murdered during the multi-year persecutions of the Arian Emperor Constantius. They were Martyred between 351 and 359 in Constantinople.
Thought for the Day – 29 March – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“We must be detached from the goods of this world because they are corruptible and cause us to forget God. Even if we have been placed in easy circumstances, let us be poor in spirit. We can be poor in spirit by giving alms from motives of Christian charity. We need the mercy of God and Our Lord has told us that He will be merciful only to those who show mercy to others.
We need God’s forgiveness for all our sins and the Holy Spirit assures us that our iniquities are redeemed by almsgiving. “Redeem thou thy sins with alms and thy iniquities, with works of mercy to the poor” )Dan 4:24). Almsgiving is a means of our personal sanctification!”
Quote/s of the Day – 29 March –Wednesday in Passion Week – Leviticus 19:1-2, 11-19, 25, John 10:22-38 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/
“My sheep hear My Voice; I know them and they follow Me.”
“Peace in us is the result of two kinds of necessary obedience, the obedience to right reason of the lower faculties and the obedience of right reason to God, our Creator. “This is the peace which God gives on earth to men of goodwill; this is the most perfect wisdom,”
St Augustine (356-430) Father and Doctor of Grace
“Do all through love, nothing through constraint. Love obedience more than you fear disobedience.” (Letter to Madame de Chantal)
“To find the Saviour outside obedience’ is to lose Him altogether!” (Letters to Persons in Religion, VI, 22)
Our Lenten Journey with St Francis de Sales – 29 March – Wednesday in Passion Week
“He has become all ours, to make us all His.” St Francis de Sales
WEDNESDAY IN PASSION WEEK St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor Caritas
“Since Our Lord has so much loved us, that He has equally redeemed all, bedewed us with His Divine Blood and called us to Himself, without excluding anyone; since He has become all ours, to make us all His, giving us His Death and His Life to deliver us from eternal death and to procure us the joys of eternal life, that we may belong to Him in this mortal life and yet more perfectly, in the next.
What remains, what conclusion have we to draw, unless that living, we should no longer live for ourselves but for Jesus Christ, Who died for us; that is, we should Consecrate to Him, every moment of our life, referring to His glory our works, our thoughts and our affections?” – (Consoling Thoughts of St Francis de Sales).
One Minute Reflection – 29 March –Wednesday in Passion Week – Leviticus 19:1-2, 11-19, 25, John 10:22-38 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/
“I and the Father are One.”- John 10:30
REFLECTION – “The Father is Who He Is and we must believe that. As for the Son, our mind gets discouraged in trying to reach Him and with every word we hesitate to make it heard. For He Is begotten of the One Who Is not begotten, the Only-Begotten of the One Who Is the One and Only, Truth come forth from Truth, the Living born of the Living, the perfect One Who comes from the perfect One, Power from Power, Wisdom from Wisdom, Glory from Glory, “the Image of the invisible God” (Col 1:15)…
How shall we understand the Only Son’s being begotten by the One Who Is not begotten?… This begetting is not a break or a division…“ The Father is in Me and I am in the Father.” (Jn 10:38) He is not adopted, for the Son is the true Son of God and says: “Whoever sees Me sees the Father.” (Jn 14:9) He did not come into existence like other beings, obeying a command, for… He has life in Himself as the One Who begot Him has life in Himself (Jn 5:26)… The One Who comes from the Perfect One, is Perfect, since the One Who possesses everything, gave everything to Him. The Father and Son each possess the secret of that birth.” – St Hilary (315-368) Bishop of Poitiers, Father and Doctor of the Church (De Trinitate II:8).
PRAYER – In Thy mercy, O Lord, may this hallowing fast enlighten the hearts of Thy faithful people and since Thou have given them the desire to serve Thee, lend a gracious ear to their prayers.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 – 29 March – Wednesday in Passion Week
A Lenten Offering By St Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face of Lisieux (1873-1897)
O my God! I offer Thee all my actions of this Lent for the intentions and for the glory of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. I desire to sanctify every beat of my heart, my every thought, my simplest works, by uniting them to Its Infinite Merits and I wish to make reparation for my sins, by casting them into the furnace of Its Merciful Love. O my God! I ask of Thee for myself and for those whom I hold dear, the grace to fulfil perfectly Thy Holy Will, to accept for love of Thee, the joys and sorrows of this passing life, so that we may one day be united together in Heaven, for all eternity. Amen
Saint of the Day – 29 March – St Eustasius of Luxeuil (c560–c626) the Second Abbot of Luxeuil Monastery, (after its Founder, St Columbanus) Missionary and Founder of another Monastery in Bavaria, Miracle-worker, Disciple of St Columban. Patronages – against blindness and eye diseases, of all illness and sick people. Also know in Francen as Eustace.
The Roman Martyrology reads today: “In the Monastery of Luxeuil, the decease of the Abbot, St Eustasius, a disciple of St Columban, who had under his guidance, nearly six hundred Monks. Eminent in sanctity, he was also renowned for miracles.”
Eustasius was born in Burgundy and became a Monk at Luxeuil Monastery. When Columbanus, the Founder of Luxeuil, was banished from the Kingdom of Burgundy, on account of his reproving the morals of King Theuderic II, he recommended his community choose Eustasius as his successor. At the time, Eustasius was head of the Monastery School, which under his direction, had established and renowned reputation for learning, devotions and excellence. St Columbanus travelled to Italy and settled in Bobbio, founding a new Monastery there. After the death of Theuderic, Clothaire II sent Eustasius to Bobbio in Italy, to ask St Columbanus to return but the exiled Abbot declined.
Under the administration of Eustasius, the Monastery flourished and acquired renown as a seat of learning and sanctity. Through the royal patronage, its benefices and lands were increased, King Clotaire II devoting a yearly sum, from his own revenues, towards its support. Eustasius and his Monks devoted themselves to preaching in remote districts, not yet evangelised, chiefly in the north-eastern extremities of Gaul. Their missionary work extended even to Bavaria. Between the Monasteries of Luxeuil in France and that of Bobbio in Italy (both founded by Columbanus), connection and intercourse seem to have long been maintained,
During his Abbacy, the Monastery increased in vocations and contained about 600 Monks and produced both Bishops and Saints, including the Saints Acarius, Amatus, Audomar and Romaric. Eustasius was noted for his humility, continual prayer, and fasting. Eustasius undertook great missionary journeys to the Variscans on the river Doubs and as far as Bavaria. Around 625 he founded a Monastery on the island of Herrenchiemsee in southern Bavaria. He was succeeded as Abbott by St Waldebert.
Eustasius cured St Sadalberga, the Duke of Alsace’s daughter, of blindness. Upon returning from Bavaria, her father, Gundoin, Duke of Alsace, provided hospitality to the Abbot on his travels. Duke Gundoin and his wife brought two of their sons for the Abbot’s blessing but were hesitant to present the blind child. Through the prayers of Eustasius. the child was cured of her blindness. He also cured for St Burgundofara from a deadly illness and assisted her escape from marriage. With Eustasiu’ support and the approval of Bishop Gundoald of Meaux, Burgundofara established an Abbey on her father’s lands and became its first Abbess.
Thought for the Day – 28 March – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Why does God allow us to endure tempations? According to spiritual writers, there are two main reasons.
(1) because God wishes us to be humble and not to depend too much on ourselves. Before he was tempted, St Peter boasted that he would never deny his Master. When he was tempted, he fell and recognised his weakness.
(2) Because by resisting temptations, we can show our love for Jesus and our readiness to sacrifice everything for Him
Temptations, therefore, can teach us humility, teach us to rely on God alone and can help us to store up merit for our souls.”
Quote/s of the Day – 28 March – Tuesday in Passion Week and the Memorial of St John of Capistrano OFM (1386-1456) Confessor – Wisdom 10:10-14, Luke 9:1-6 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/
“Take nothing for your journey, neither staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money; neither have two tunics.”
“Pursue justice, godliness, faith, charity, patience, mildness. Fight the good fight of the faith, lay hold on the life eternal, to which you have been called …”
1 Timothy 6:11-12
“The love of Jesus is noble and generous, it spurs us on to do great things and excites us to desire always, that which is most perfect. Love will tend upwards and is not to be detained by things beneath. Love will be at liberty and free from all worldly affections… for love proceeds from God and cannot rest but in God, above all things created. The lover flies, runs and rejoices, he is free and not held. He gives all for all and has all in all, because he rests in One Sovereign Good above all, from Whom all good flows and proceeds.”
Thomas à Kempis CRSA (1380-1471) (Book III, Chapter V, 3-4)
“Entrust yourself entirely to God. He is a Father and a most loving Father at that, Who would rather let Heaven and earth collapse, than abandon anyone who trusted in Him.”
St Paul of the Cross (1604-1775)
“Crosses, contempt, sorrows and afflictions, are the real treasures of the lovers of Jesus Christ Crucified.”
Our Lenten Journey with St Francis de Sales – 28 March
“Arrows of Love” St Francis de Sales
TUESDAY IN PASSION WEEK St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor Caritas
“HE WISHED, even after His death, to have His side opened, that we might see the thoughts of His Heart, which were all thoughts of love and that we might go to Him with confidence, in order to hide ourselves in His side and to receive, from Him, an abundance of graces and benedictions.
In this manner, from the first moment of His life until the present hour, has the kind Jesus been continually drawing arrows, if we may so speak, from the quiver of His love, with which to wound the souls of His lovers, showing them clearly, that they can never love Him nearly as much as He deserves.
My God, could He show more love to sinners than to become a perfect holocaust for their sins? Ah! if we could see the Heart of Jesus, such as it is, we should die of love for Him, since we are mortal, as He died of love of us, while He was mortal and as He would die again, if He were not now immortal. Nothing has as much power to wound a loving heart, as to see another heart wounded for love of it.” – (Consoling Thoughts of St Francis de Sales).
One Minute Reflection – 28 March – Tuesday in Passion Week and the Memorial of St John of Capistrano OFM (1386-1456) Confessor – Wisdom 10:10-14, Luke 9:1-6 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/
“Take nothing for your journey, neither staff, nor sack, nor bread, nor money; neither have two tunics.” – Luke 9:3
REFLECTION – “This is a great vision. But if you wish to see it, remove the sandals from your feet. Remove every chain of sin. Remove the chains of the world. Leave behind earthly sandals. Jesus sent the Apostles without sandals, without money, gold and silver, so that they would not carry earthly things with them. The one who seeks to do good is praised, not for his sandals but for the swiftness and grace of his feet. The Scripture says, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, of those who bring glad tidings of good things!” Therefore, remove the sandals from your feet, that they may be beautiful for preaching the Gospel!” – St Ambrose (340-397) Bishop of Milan, Father and Doctor of the Church (Flight From the World 5).
PRAYER – O God, Who, through blessed John, made Thy faithful people conquer the enemies of the Cross by the power of the Most Holy Name of Jesus, grant, we beseech Thee, that by his intercession we may avoid the snares of our spiritual enemies and may be found worthy to receive from Thee, the crown of justice. Through esus 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 March – Tuesday in Passion Week
O My God, I Thank Thee An Act of Abandonment to the Divine Will By St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor Caritas
O my God, I thank Thee and I praise Thee for accomplishing Thy Holy and all-lovable Will without any regard for mine. With my whole heart, in spite of my heart, do I receive this cross I feared so much! It is the cross of Thy choice, the cross of Thy Love. I venerate it; nor for anything in the world would I wish it had not come, since Thou hast willed it. I keep it with gratitude and with joy, as I do everything which comes from Thy Hand and I shall strive to carry it without letting it drag, with all the respect and all the affection which Thy works deserve. Amen.
Saint of the Day – 28 March – Blessed Jeanne Marie de Maille TOSF (1331-1414) Virgin, Widow, Recluse Born on 14 April 1331 at the Castle of La Roche, France and died on 28 March 1414 at Tours France of natural causes. Patronages – abuse victims, against in-law problems, against the death of parents, of exiles, people ridiculed for their piety, widows. Also known as – Jane Mary de Maille. Jeanne Marie was Beatified on 27 April 1871 by Pope Pius IX .
Jeanne, the daughter of the wealthy Baron of Maille, was born at the chateau of her father near St Quentin in France. Because she possessed, from her earliest youth, a tender devotion and love for the Blessed Virgin Mary, she was given the additional name of Marie at Confirmation and from then on, she always used it with her Baptismal name. Under the direction of a Franciscan, who conducted the divine services at the chateau, she strove earnestly to attain perfection. Self-denial, mortification, prayer and works of charity towards her neighbour were the special means she employed.
Jeanne Marie was scarcely fifteen years old when her father died. She was placed under the guardianship of her grandfather, who was already quite advanced in years and who, therefore, believed it his duty to see his grandchild settled in life, as soon as possible. He chose as her husband Baron Robert of Silly, a man who was noble both by birth and by virtue. On the evening of their wedding day the grandfather died suddenly. This made such an impression on the pious husband that he readily yielded to the wish of his young wife to live in virginity.
The young couple’s first concern was to order their household in a Christian fashion. Only virtuous and God-fearing persons were admitted as their servants; all had to observe the commandments of God and of the Church faithfully; frivolous conversations, cursing and swearing, as well as games of chance, were not tolerated. In everything their Master and Mistress set the best example. Jeanne Marie interested herself too, in all the needs of her people and never sent a needy person away from her door without giving him assistance.
But the cross is the real test of all true fidelity to God;and it was not to be wanting in this home either. A terrible war broke out between England and France. The Baron of Silly and his vassals took the field in defence of their country but the war was disastrous for France.
Mortally wounded, the young Baron was brought to his chateau but hardly had he arrived there, when the English took possession of it and led him away as a prisoner. Through the efforts of his faithful wife, he obtained his freedom but he died not long afterwards.
Her in-laws were unkind to her and blamed her for her husband squandering his fortune for charitable ends and so deprived her of her widow’s inheritance and cut ties with her. completely. She first went to seek shelter at the home of an old ex-servant but the servant treated her with harshness, when realising she was poor. She went to reside with her mother but left when the latter tried to pressure her into finding another husband. Now Jeanne Marie withdrew entirely from the world. She moved to a little house near the Franciscan Church in Tours. Dressed in the ash-grey habit of the Third Order, she went out to nurse the sick and the poor. The remaining time she spent in prayer.
She prayed especially that God might bless the labours of Priests, particularly those who preached the Divine Word. She prayed most of all for the Universal Church, which at that time had to endure one of its severest trials. Christendom was divided into two groups – one pope resided in Italy, another in France and even saintly people did not know which one was the rightful head of the Church. Confusion and many scandals were the inevitable results. Had the Church been the work of human hands, it must certainly have gone to ruin. In answer to the prayers of many pious souls, God came to the assistance of the Church and Jeanne Marie had the consolation, before her death, of seeing the Church again united under one head.
Blessed Jeanne Marie de Maille died in the year 1414, at the age of eighty-two years. When her remains, clothed in the habit of the Third Order, were brought into the Church, the body appeared to have the freshness of youth. The veneration paid to her since her death was approved by Pope Pius IX.
St John of Capistrano OFM (1386-1456) Priest and Friar of the Friars Minor, Confessor and Preacher. Famous as a Preacher, Theologian and Inquisitor, trained Lawyer, he earned himself the nickname ‘the Soldier Saint’ when in 1456 at age 70 he led a Crusade against the invading Ottoman Empire at the Siege of Belgrade. He was Beatified on 19 December 1650 by Pope Innocent X and Canonised on 16 October 1690 by Pope Alexander VIII. Feast Day moved from 28 March in 1969. Biography: https://anastpaul.com/2017/10/23/saint-of-the-day-23-october-st-john-capistrano-ofm-1386-1456-the-soldier-saint/
St Cyril the Deacon St Dorotheus of Tarsus St Gundelindis of Niedermünster
St Guntramnus (c 532-592) King of the Kingdom of Orléans and Burgundy from 561 until his death in 592, Confessor, Apostle of the needs of the Church and of the poor and sick, Penitent. The Roman Martyrology reads: “At Chalons in France, the demise of St Gontran King, who devoted himself to exercises of piety, renounced the pomps of the world and bestowed his trasures on the Church and the poor,” https://anastpaul.com/2022/03/28/saint-of-the-day-28-march-saint-guntramnus-died-597/
St Hesychius of Jerusalem St Hilarion of Pelecete Blessed Jeanne Marie de Maille (1331-1414) Widow, Recluse St Proterius of Alexandria St Rogatus the Martyr St Successus the Martyr St Tutilo of Saint-Gall
Thought for the Day – 27 March – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Passion of Our Lord
“Meditation on the Passion of Jesus” writes St Albert the Great, “is more profitable than fasting on bread and water or than scourging ourselves.”
This is because, when we meditate with love and gratitude on the Passion of our Redeemer, we have the experience of being transformed and set aglow with charity. We realise the truth of St Paul’s words, “The sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory to come, that will be revealed in us” (Rom 8:18)).
Let us cast ourselves, therefore, into the merciful arms of God and be prepared to suffer everything, even death, for the love of Jesus.”
Quote of the Day – 27 March – The Feast of St John Damascene (675-749) Confessor, Father and Doctor of the Church
The Night Prayers before Retiring The Examination of Conscience, Act of Contrition and Resolutions By St John Damascene (675-749) Confessor, Father and Doctor of the Church
“ (To be said pointing at the bed:) O Lord, Lover of men, is this bed to be my coffin, or wilt Thou enlighten my wretched soul with another day? Here the coffin lies before me and here death confronts me. I fear, O Lord, Thy Judgement and the endless torments, yet I cease not to do evil. My Lord God, I continually anger Thee and Thy immaculate Mother, and all the Heavenly Powers and my holy Guardian Angel. I know, O Lord, that I am unworthy of Thy love but deserve condemnation and every torment. But, whether I want it or not, save me, O Lord. For to save a good man is no great thing and to have mercy on the pure is nothing wonderful, for they are worthy of Thy mercy. But show the wonder of Thy mercy to me, a sinner. In this, reveal Thy love for men, lest my wickedness prevail over Thy unutterable goodness and mercy. And order my life as Thou wilt. (As sleep is the image of death, at night we pray for the departed) With the Saints give rest, O Christ, to the souls of Thy servants where there is no pain, no sorrow, no sighing, but life everlasting.
Kiss your Crucifix and make the Sign of the Cross from the head to the foot of the bed and from two sides and then say the Prayer:
Hail, Most Precious and Life-Giving Cross of the Lord!
Let God arise and let His enemies be scattered and let those, who hate Him, flee from His Presence. As smoke vanishes, let them vanish and as wax melts by the presence of fire, so let the demons perish by the presence of those who love God and who sign themselves with the Sign of the Cross and say in gladness: Hail, Most Precious and Life-Giving Cross of the Lord, for Thou drives away the demons by the power of our Lord Jesus Christ Crucified on thee, Who went down to hell and trampled on the power of the devil and gave us thee, His venerable Cross, for driving away all enemies. O Most Precious and Life-Giving Cross of the Lord, help me with our holy Lady, the Virgin Mother of God and with all the Saints throughout the ages. Amen.
(When about to lie down in bed, say:) Lighten my eyes, O Christ God, lest I sleep in death and lest my enemy says: I have prevailed over him.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost. Be my soul’s Defender, O God, for I step over many snares. Deliver me from them and save me, O Good One, in Thy love for men. Now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen. Let us not silently hymn the most glorious Mother of God, holiest of holy Angels but confess her with heart and mouth to be the Mother of God, for she truly bore God Incarnate for us and prays without ceasing for our souls. Amen.
(Just before closing your eyes, say:) Into Thy hands, O Lord Jesus Christ, my God, I surrender my spirit and body; bless me, save me and grant me eternal life. Amen.
Before retiring, The Examination of Conscience: (or if one prefers, before beginning prayers) go through all the points suggested below in your mind and memory.
Give thanks to Almighty God for granting you during the past day, by His grace, His gifts of life and health.
Examine your conscience by going through each hour of the day, beginning from the time you rose from your bed and recall to memory – where you went, how you acted and reacted towards all persons and other creatures and what you talked about. Recall and consider with all care, your thoughts, words and deeds from morning until the evening.
If you have done any good, do not ascribe it to yourself but to God Who gives us all the good things and thank Him. Pray that He may confirm you in this good and enable you to do other good works.
But if you have done anything evil, admit that this comes from yourself and your own weakness, from bad habits or weak will. Repent and pray to the Lover of men that He may forgive you and promise Him firmly, never to do this evil again.
Implore your Creator with tears, to grant you a quiet, undisturbed, pure and sinless night and to enable you, in the coming day, to devote yourself wholly to the glory of His holy Name.
If you find a soft pillow, leave it and put a stone in its place, for Christ’s sake. If you sleep in winter, bear it, saying – Some did not sleep at all!”
St John Damascene (675-749) Father and Doctor of the Church
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