Thought for the Day – 1 March – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Five Tribunals of Justice
“In regard to the civil authority, however, one thing should be made quite clear. We are only obliged to obey it when it does not infringe on the rights of God or of the Church. If it should run counter to these, we should answer in the words of St Peter and the other Apostles, when thy were called before the Sanhedrin. “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).
If we had to suffer anything as a result, in the cause of God and of the Church, we should count that as our good fortune. Like the Apostles, we should be able to rejoice that we have been found worthy to suffer indignity and ill-treatment for the sake of Jesus’ Name (Acts 5:41).”
Quote/s of the Day – 1 March – Ember Wednesday – 3 Kings. 19:3-8, Matthew 12:38-50 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/
“The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgement with this generation and condemn it, for they repented …”
“The sign of Jonah”
“It was, too, to lead the Ninevites to firm repentance and to convert them to Him, Who would deliver them from death, amazed as they were by the sign accomplished in Jonah … In the same way, God permitted man to be swallowed by that great monster, the author of disobedience, not so that he should altogether vanish away and die but because God, had prepared beforehand, the salvation fulfilled by His Word by means of the “sign of Jonah.”
St Irenaeus (130-208) Bishop of Lyons, Martyr and Father
“… In the conceitedness of our souls, without taking the least trouble to obey the Lord’s Commandments, we think ourselves worthy to receive the same reward as those who have resisted sin to the death!”
St Basil the Great (329-379) Father and Doctor of the Church
“To do penance is to bewail the evil we have done and to do no evil to bewail.”
“But He still follows behind us and counsels us, that we have despised Him but He still does not cease to call us. We turn our backs on His face, so to speak, when we reject His Words, when we trample His Commandments underfoot but He, Who sees that we reject Him, still calls out to us by His Commandments and waits for us by His patience, stands behind us and calls us back when we have turned away.”
St Pope Gregory the Great (540-604) Father & Doctor of the Church
“What are we doing? If we really love the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we should offer penance and sacrifices in order to make reparation for our sins and the sins of others and, to propitiate this adorable Heart, Which ardently desires to bestow new favours upon us.”
Our Lenten Journey with St Francis de Sales – 1 March – Ember Wednesday
“The troubles of my heart are multiplied, deliver me from my necessities. See my abjection and my labour and forgive me all my sins.” Psalm 24:17-18
“The men of Nineveh will rise up in the judgement with this generation and will condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah and behold, One greater than Jonah is here.” Matthew 12:41
REPENTANCE St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor Caritas
“LET ANYONE WHO IS STANDING BE FEARFUL lest he fall, says the Apostle [1 Cor 10:12]; let no-one glory in finding himself expressly called by God, to a place where there seems nothing to fear. Let no-one presume on his good works and think he has nothing more to fear. St Peter, who had received so many graces, who had promised to accompany Our Lord to prison and even to death itself [Lk 22:33], denied Him, nevertheless, at the whimpering taunt of a chambermaid! Judas sold Him for such a small sum of money!
These falls were both very great but there was this difference. One acknowledged his guilt; the other despaired. Yet, our Saviour had inspired in the heart of both, the same Peccavi [admission of guilt] (“I have sinned”) that same Peccavi that God inspired in David’s heart. [2 Kgs (2 Sm.) 12:13]. Yes, He inspired it in both Apostles but one rejected it and the other accepted it. Hearing the cock crow, St Peter remembered what he had done and the word his good Master had spoken to him. Then, acknowledging his sin, he went out and wept so bitterly [Matt 26:74-75; Lk 22:61-62] that he received what we today call a Plenary Indulgence and full remission of all his sins. O happy S. Peter! By such contrition for your sins you received a full pardon for such great disloyalty!
From this time on, St Peter never ceased weeping, principally when he heard the cock crow at night and morning, for he remembered this crowing as the signal for his conversion. It is also reported that he shed so many tears that they hollowed his cheeks into two furrows. With these tears he, who had been a great sinner became a great saint. “O glorious St Peter, how happy you are to have done such great penance for such great disloyalty. By it you were reinstated in grace. You, who deserved eternal death became worthy of eternal life.” Not only that but St Peter received here below, special favours and privileges and was lavished with blessings on earth and in Heaven.
On the other hand, although Judas received the same inspiration for the same Peccavi, he rejected it and despaired. I know that efficacious and sufficient grace differ, as theologians say but I am not here to prove and dispute, whether Judas’ inspiration … was as efficacious as David’s, or only sufficient. It was certainly sufficient. This Peccavi, sent to the heart of Judas, was truly like that formerly sent to David. Why then was Judas not converted?
O miserable man! He saw the gravity of his crime and despaired. Truly, he confessed his sin, for in returning to the chief priests the thirty pieces of silver for which he had sold his good Master, he acknowledged aloud that he had sold innocent blood. [Matt. 27:3-5]. But these priests would give him no absolution. Alas, did not this unhappy man know that Our Lord alone could give it to him, that He was the Saviour and held Redemption in His hands? Had he not seen this truth clearly in those whose sins Jesus had remitted? Certainly, he knew it but he did not wish, nor dare to ask pardon. To make him despair, the devil showed him the enormity and hideousness of his crime and, perhaps, made him fear that if he asked his Master’s pardon, He might impose too great a penance. Perhaps, for fear of such penance, he was unwilling to ask for forgiveness. Thus, despairing, he hanged himself and his body burst wide open, all his entrails spilling out [Acts 1:18] and he was buried in the deepest of Hells.” – Sermon for Good Friday 25 March 1622.
One Minute Reflection – 1 March – Ember Wednesday – 3 Kings. 19:3-8, Matthew 12:38-50 –The Memorial of St David (c 542-c 601) Bishop, Confessor – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/
“The sign of Jonah” – Matthew 12:39
REFLECTION – “You were conducted by the hand to the holy pool of Sacred Baptism, just as Christ was conveyed from the Cross to the sepulchre close at hand [in this Church of the Holy Sepulchre]. Each person was asked if he believed in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. You made the confession that brings salvation and submerged yourselves three times in the water and emerged, by this symbolic gesture, you were secretly re-enacting the burial of Christ, three days in the tomb. For just as our Saviour spent three days and nights in the bosom of the earth, so you, upon first emerging, were representing Christ… You saw nothing when immersed – as if it were night but you emerged – as if to the light of day. In one and the same action, you died and were born, the water of salvation became both tomb and mother for you…
What a strange and astonishing situation! We did not really die, we were not really buried, we did not really hang from a cross and rise again. Our imitation was symbolic but our salvation a reality! Christ truly hung from a Cross, was truly buried and truly rose again. All this He did gratuitously for us, so that we might share His sufferings by imitating them and gain salvation in actuality. What transcendent kindness! Christ endured nails in His innocent Hands and Feet and suffered pain and by letting me participate in the pain, without anguish or sweat, He freely bestows salvation on me! …
We know well that not merely does Baptism cleanse sins and bestow on us the gift of the Holy Spirit – it is also the sign of Christ’s suffering. This is why, as we heard just now, Paul cried out: “Are you unaware that we, who were Baptised into Christ Jesus, were Baptised into His Death? We were indeed buried with Him through Baptism into death”… So, in order that we may realise that Christ endured all His sufferings for us and our salvation IN actuality and not in symbolism and that, we share in His pains, Paul cried out the literal truth: “If we have grown into union with Him through a death like His, we shall also be united with Him in the resurrection,” (Rom 6,3-5). – St Cyril of Jerusalem (313-350) Bishop of Jerusalem, Father and Doctor of the Church (Catechesis no.20/2nd Mystagogy) .
PRAYER – We beseech Thee, O Lord, look graciously upon the fervour of Thy people, who mortify themselves in the flesh through abstinence that they may be refreshed in spirit, by the fruit of these good works and the intercession of Thy blessed Confessor, David. 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).
Jesus, My Saviour, Help Me! By St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787) Most Zealous Doctor of the Church
Jesus, my Saviour, help me! I am resolved truly to love Thee and to leave all, to please Thee. Help me to free myself from everything which hinders me from belonging wholly to Thee, Who has loved me so much. By thy prayers, O Mother Mary, which are so powerful with God, obtain for me this grace, to belong wholly to God. Amen
Saint of the Day – 1 March – Saint Leolucas of Corleone OBas (c815-c915) Monk of the Basilian Order Abbot, Mystic, Ascetic, Miracle-worker. Born in c815 to 818 at Corleone, Sicily and died in c915 of natural causes, after eighty years of monastic life, in Monteleone Calabro, now Vibo Valentia in Calabria. Patronages – Corleone, Sicily, Vibo Valentia, Italy. Also known as – Leo Lukas, Leo Luke, Leoluca, Leone Luca, Leo Luke of Corleone, Luke of Sicily.
The Roman Martyrology reads: “In the Monastery of Avena between the slopes of Mount Mercurio in Calabria, St Leone Luca, Abbot of Monte Mula, who shone in the hermitic life, as in the cenobitic life, following the rules of the oriental Monks.”
In 2006 Leolucas Relics were found in the Municipality of San Gregorio d’Ippona, about 2 km southeast of the City of Vibo Valentia.
The text of the Life of Leo Luke of Corleone was published in 1657 in the Sicilian Martyrology of Jesuit Ottavio Gaetani (Vitae Sanctorum Siculorum). He was said to have derived it from three manuscripts discovered in Sicily – one from Palermo, another from Mazara and a third from Corleone. Later, the Bollandists published another Life, in Latin, found in the library of Joseph Acosta.
Leolucas was born in Corleone, Sicily in the 9th century on the eve of the Saracen invasion of Sicily. His parents, Leo and Theoktiste Baptised him Leo, in honour of his father. They were a pious and wealthy family who raised him in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. He was orphaned at an early age and devoted himself to managing the family estate and supervising the herds. In the solitude of the fields he realised that he had a call to religious life, so he sold the estate, gave the money to the poor and went to the Monastery of St Philip in Agira, in Sicily.
It is not known how long he stayed at that Monastery but due to the raids of the Saracens, he left and went to Calabria. Before going to Calabria, however, he went on pilgrimage to visit the Tombs of Saints Peter and Paul in Rome.
In Calabria, he went to the Monastery of Mula, at Mount Mula, one of the highest peaks of the Orsomarso mountains. Here he became a Monk, excelling in the virtues and in obedience, remaining there for six years. Once while he was still a Novice, he and some other brothers went into the nearby forest to collect firewood. The young Novice, full of enthusiasm and charity, trusted in his strength and gathered a large pile of firewood but when he was about to shoulder it, it turned out that he had overestimated his strength. He then split the pile in half, taking one half with him and planning to go back after the other. But when he came out of the forest with his load, the other brothers saw, to their great immense surprise that the other half of the fuel was moving itself beside the young Novice!
Once, soon after, he was bitten by a snake while cutting grass in the garden. Immediately the brothers tried to help him because they thought he was in danger. But young Leolucas retired to a corner of the garden in prayer, and a little later he returned, perfectly well. After that miracle, he had the admiration of the other Monks and they considered him a true friend of God.
He and the Abbot, named Christopher, then sort to find a place of solitude where they could grow further in unity with God. They went to the mountainous region in Northern Calabria and here they founded a new Monastery, living there in Asceticism for a further seven years.
Once more they left and moved onto Vena (modern Avena, Calabria) to continue the spiritual struggle. Here they built another Monastery, which by the time of Christopher’s death, had attracted more than one-hundred Monks to the very strict Rule practised by Leolucas, who himself lived in total silence and apart in a solitary cell.
But after the death of Abbot Christopher, Leolucas became the Abbot. He attracted the faithful in the surrounding regions who flocked to our Saint for spirital direction and cures. Many miracles were worked, demons were exorcised and guided the lost towards the path of salvation. He prayed without ceasing and remained out in the cold for up to twenty days at a time, in penance and reparation.
Leolucas lived the last days of his life in meditation, fasting and ecstatic prayer. Finally he called the Monks to come to him and foretold his end. He delegated the responsibility of the position of Abbot to the Monk Theodore and assigned the Priest Euthymios, as Theodore’s auxiliary. Having received Holy Communion, Leolucas fell asleep in peace and was buried in the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
News of Leoluca’s death spread slowly to Corleone and it is only in the 13th Century that there is evidence of a Church dedicated to him in his birthplace. In 1420 there are also references to a Brotherhood of St Leolucas.
Leolucas’ intercession is credited with saving the City of Corleone during an outbreak of the plague of 1575 and he was made the Patron Saint Corleone, his home town. In 1624 he was made the Patron Saint of Vibo Valentia as well.
In1860, an apparition of St Leolucas and St Anthony is credited with preventing Corleone being invaded by the Bourbons.
In Vibo Valentia in Calabria, on his Feast day on 1 March, the local fire brigade pay him homage by placing a crown of flowers at the foot of his Statue which is located high on the façade of the Cathedral of Santa Maria Maggiore & San Leolucas, using a turntable ladder to perform the act.
The beloved Foster-Father and Guardian of Jesus and Protector of the Holy Family, is celebrated for this whole month and his Feast Day falls in the middle of it – 19 March – this year moved to the 20th as the 19th is Laetare Sunday, the Fourth Sunday of Lent.
“Quamquam Pluries” On the Devotion to St Joseph Pope Leo XIII
“On 10 March, [11 MARCH THIS YEAR], we begin the Novena to St Joseph, entrusting so many of our woes and cares to his holy and fatherly care and intercession. His Patronages are numerous, as we know, one of them will fit our needs perfectly and if not, then we should all ask him to intercede on our behalf for our families and for a Happy and Holy Death. On the 20th [FEAST normally 19th] we pray the Consecration to St Joseph.”
Patronages in Alphabetical Order:
of Accountants • Bursars • Cabinetmakers • Carpenters • Catholic Church • Cemetery Workers • Children • Civil Engineers • against Communism • Confectioners • Craftsmen • against Doubt and Hesitation • the Dying • Emigrants • Exiles • Expectant Mothers • Families • Fathers • Furniture Makers • Grave diggers • Happy Death • Holy Death • House Hunters • House Sellers • Immigrants • Joiners • Labourers • all the Legal Profession • Married Couples • Oblates of Saint Joseph • Orphans • Pioneers • Social Justice • Teachers • Travellers • the Unborn • Wheelwrights • Workers • Americas • Austria • Belgium • Bohemia • Canada • China • Croatian people • Korea • Mexico • New France • New World • Peru • Philippines • Vatican City • VietNam • Canadian Armed Forces • Papal States • 46 Diocese • 26 Cities,States and Regions.
St Albinus of Vercelli St Amandus of Boixe St Antonina of Bithynia Bl Aurelia of Wirberg Bl Bonavita of Lugo St Bono of Cagliari Bl Christopher of Milan Bl Claudius Gabriel Faber St Domnina of Syria St Domnina of Syria St Donatus of Carthage St Eudocia of Heliopolis St Felix III, Pope Bl George Biandrate Bl Giovanna Maria Bonomo Bl Gonzalo de Ubeda St Hermes of Numidia St Jared the Patriarch St Leo of Rouen St Leolucas of Corleone OBas (c815-c915) Abbot of the Basilian Order
St Lupercus St Marnock St Monan Bl Pietro Ernandez Bl Roger Lefort St Rudesind St Seth the Patriarch St Simplicius of Bourges St Siviard St Swithbert St Venerius of Eichstätt
Martyrs of Africa – A group of 13 Christians executed together for their faith in Africa. The only details about them to survive are ten names – Abundantius, Adrastus, Agapius, Charisius, Donatilla, Donatus, Fortunus, Leo, Nicephorus and Polocronius. c290
Martyrs of Antwerp – A group of Christians Martyred together, buried together and whose Relics were transferred and enshrined together. We know nothing else but their names – Benignus, Donatus, Felician, Fidelis, Filemon, Herculanus, Julius, Justus, Maximus, Pelagius, Pius, Primus, Procopius and Silvius. Died in the 2nd Century in Rome. They are buried in the St Callistus Catacombs and their relics were enshirned in the Jesuit Church in Antwerp on 28 February 1600.
Martyrs of the Salarian Way – A group of 260 Christians who, for their faith, were condemned to road work on the Salarian Way in Rome, Italy during the persecutions of Claudius II. When they were no longer needed for work, they were publicly murdered in the amphitheatre. Martyrs. c 269 in Rome.
Martyrs Under Alexander – A large but unspecified number of Christians Martyred in the persecutions of Emperor Alexander Severus and the praefect Ulpian who saw any non-state religion to be a dangerous treason. c 219.
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