Thought for the Day – 23 March – 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 – 23 March – Thursday of the Fourth Week in Lent – 4 Kings 4:25-38, Luke 7:11-16 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.or
“Young man, I say to thee, arise!”
“Thy sins are forgiven thee … Arise and walk.”
“My grace is sufficient for thee, for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
2 Corinthians 12:7
“O my brethren, if only we wanted to, if only we all wanted to perceive our soul’s paralysis in all its depth! Then we would see that it is lying on a stretcher of sins, deprived of strength. Christ’s action within us, would be a source of light and we would understand that each day He sees our lack of faith, harmful as it is, that He draws us towards healing remedies and sharply presses our rebellious wills. “My son” He says, “your sins are forgiven you.”
St Peter Chrysologus (c 400-450) “Golden Words” Father & Doctor of the Church
“If thou art bound down by sickness, if sorrows weary thee, if thou art trembling with fear, invoke the name of Jesus!”
St Lawrence Justinian (1381-1456)
“The medicine of God, is Jesus Christ, Crucified and Risen, the measure of all things.”
St John Leonardi (1541-1609) Confessor, Priest, Founder
Our Lenten Journey with St Francis de Sales – 23 March – Thursday of the Fourth Week in Lent – 4 Kings 4:25-38, Luke 7:11-16 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/
“Come to Me, all ye who are weary …” Matthew 11:28
“Young man, I say to thee, arise!” Luke 7:14
THE DIVINE PHYSICIAN St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor Caritas
“Our Lord, the great and excellent Physician of our infirmities, announced everywhere, before coming into this world, both His arrival and the maladies He would cure; sometimes by His prophets. …”
What wonder then if, in the Gospel, we find Him surrounded by the sick, by sinners and by publicans! O vain and foolish murmuring of the Hebrews, when they said: “This man receiveth sinners.” Whom would you wish Him to receive? Is it not the honour of a Physician to be sought for by the sick and so much the more, as their maladies are considered incurable? …
Thus, how were the poor Prodigal and the unfortunate Absalom received by their fathers? And, otherwise, what would become of us, for all have sinned? Every man is a liar, that is to say, a sinner. If we say that we are without sin, we deceived ourselves. Return to the Lord, and forsake your injustice, for His Mercy is great towards those who are converted to Him. Why is He called Saviour, unless in order to save? …
But, oh, miserable that we are! We are often called and we only turn a deaf ear. “I have called and you have not heard,” says God. We are drawn and we obstinately resist Him. He complains, saying: “All the day long have I stretched out My hands to this incredulous and rebellious people! ”…
Let us then depart, let us depart from Egypt, let us approach Our Lord, let us make provision of good works; let the feet of our affections be bare, let us clothe ourselves with innocence, let us not be satisfied with crying for mercy, let us go forth from Egypt, let us delay no longer. The hour is come to arise from sleep, since we know that He receives sinners; the Angels await our repentance, the Saints pray for it!” – (Consoling Thoughts on God and Providence).
One Minute Reflection – 23 March – “The Month of the St Joseph” – Thursday of the Fourth Week in Lent – 4 Kings 4:25-38, Luke 7:11-16 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/
“Young man, I say to thee, arise!” – Luke 7:14
REFLECTION – “Let no-one who is Christian doubt that even now, dead people rise. Certainly, every human being has eyes, by which he can see dead people rising, in the way this widow’s son, whom we just heard about in the Gospel, arose. But not everyone can see people who are spiritually dead rise. For that, it is necessary to have already risen interiorly. It is greater to raise someone, who is to live forever than to raise someone, who will have to die again.
The young man’s mother, this widow, was transported with joy at seeing her son rise. Our Mother, the Church, also rejoices when she sees her children’s spiritual resurrection everyday. The widow’s son was dead with the death of the body but these latter, are dead with the death of the soul. People wept tears over the visible death of the former but people were not concerned by the invisible death of the latter – they did not even see it. The only One Who did not remain indifferent, is the One Who knew these deaths – only the One, Who could give life back to them, knew these deaths. For if the Lord had not come to raise the dead, the Apostle Paul would not have said: “Awake, O sleeper, arise from the dead and Christ will give you Light.” (Eph 5:14).” –St Augstine (354-430) Father and Doctor of Grace (Sermon 98).
PRAYER – Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that we who are chastising the flesh by fasting, may rejoice in this holy practice and thus, with earthly passions subdued, we may the more readily direct our thoughts to Heavenly things. 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 – 23 March – Thursday of the Fourth Week in Lent – “The Month of the St Joseph”
Glorious St Joseph! Prayer for the Intercession of St Joseph in All Our Needs By St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor Caritas
Glorious St Joseph, Spouse of Mary, grant us thy paternal protection, we beseech thee, by the Heart of Jesus Christ. O thou, whose power extends to all our necessities and can render possible for us, the most impossible things, open thy fatherly eyes to the needs of thy children. In the trouble and distress which afflicts us, we confidently have recourse to thee. Deign to take under thy charitable charge this important and difficult matter, cause of our worries. Make its happy outcome be for God’s glory and for the good of His devoted servants. Amen.
Saint of the Day – 23 March – St Ottone Frangipane (1040-1127) Layman, military Knight, Pilgrim, Ascetic, Hermit, Miracle-worker both during life and after his death. Founder of a Pilgrim’s Hospice in Ariano which later became a huge Hospital. Born in 1040 in Rome, Italy and died on 23 March 1127 in Ariano Irpino, Italy of natural causes. Patronages – the City of Ariano Irpino, Italy, the Diocese of Ariano Irpino-Lacedonia, Castelbottaccio, Italy. Also known as – Oddone, Oto, Otto.
According to the Arianesi tradition, Ottone was born in Rome, and was a member of the noble Frangipane family, a powerful baronial family occupying a prominent position in Rome. Around 1058 when Ottone was a young Knight of around 18 years, he had to leave his home on a military campaigns in defence of the Pope. In one of these campaigns,
Ottone was captured and put in chains in a cell in a tower, from which he escaped after beseeching the intercession of the Patron Saint of the imprisoned, Saint Leonard of Noblac, who appeared to him during the night and released him from his chains.
Ottonhe returned to Rome before he went on pilgrimages of thanksgiving to many Shrines in different regions across Italy.
That pilgrimage lasted about 50 years! Traditions state that at that time he wore the Benedictine habit, although he did not take the vows of a Monk and lived for some time in the Abbey of the Blessed Trinity of Cava, dedicating himself to prayer and manual labour. He later visited St William of Vercelli in Montevergine Monastery, spending time there and becoming the spiritual disciple and student of St William.
In around 1110, after the long pilgrimage, the Saint settled in Ariano. At this time the City was a place of transit for the pilgrims travelling from Naples and Benevento towards Bari, where they would take ship for the Holy Land. Ottone dedicated himself to their help and to accommodate them, he founded the Hospice of San Giacomo (Saint James).
Here Ottone worked for three years in a Hospice for pilgrims setting an example of charity, until he decided to retire to lead a life of solitary prayer about a kilometer away from the City and the Hospice near to the Church of San Pietro Apostolo, today called San Pietro dei Reclusiis
Attached to the Church he built a small cell and there he isolated himself. He performed many miracles in the place, increased his austerities, prolonged his prayer vigils, lessened the food and increased the penances. Next to the small cell he dug a grave, as a reminder of death, as a warning to lead a holy life. After ten years of this life, he died.
The Arianesi solemnly transported his body to the Cathedral, where the Bishop had him buried with honour. The cult seems to have started right away and many miracles have been attributed to St Ottone over the centuries. In around 1220, Ottone’s Relics body was transferred to Benevento to avoid desecration in Saracen raids.
The most important miracle recorded of Ottone took place in around 1180, when the Saracens of Lucera, who were besieging Ariano were struck down by a rain of stones, by the intercession of the Saint, who appeared among the clouds. To commemorate this miraculous event, the Arianesi built the Church of Santa Maria della Ferma.
Among others who received miracles by the intercession of Ottone, was Saint Elzéar of Sabran, who became Count of Ariano and is now venerated as its joint Patron Saint.
Particularly noted is the vow made by the Arianesi in 1528 – Ariano was gripped by the plague and the inhabitants turned to Saint Ottone to be freed of it. The Saint saved the City and its faithful people, not then only but on other occasions, his intercession released the Arianesi from epidemics. St Ottone pray for us all, we beseech thee!
In art, St Ottone’s attributes are the monastic habit, a sword and a scourge.
Bl Álvaro del Portillo Díez de Sollano St Benedict of Campagna St Crescentius of Carthage St Ethelwald of Farne St Felix the Martyr St Felix of Monte Cassino St Fergus of Duleek St Fidelis the Martyr St Frumentius of Hadrumetum St Gwinear
Daughters of Feradhach: They are mentioned in early calendars and martyrologies but no information about them has survived.
Martyrs of Caesarea – 5 Saints: A group of five Christians who protested public games which were dedicated to pagan gods. Martyred in the persecutions Julian the Apostate. The only details we know about them are their names – Aquila, Domitius, Eparchius, Pelagia and Theodosia. They were martyred in 361 in Caesarea, Palestine.
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