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.
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