Thought for the Day – 23 August – Friday of the Twentieth week in Ordinary Time, Year C and the Memorial of St Rose of Lima (1586-1617)
The first Canonised saint of the New World has one characteristic of all saints—the suffering of opposition—and another characteristic which is more for admiration than for imitation—excessive practice of mortification.
The saints have so great a love of God that what seems bizarre to us and is indeed sometimes imprudent, is simply a logical carrying out of a conviction, that anything that might endanger a loving relationship with God, must be rooted out. So, because her beauty was so often admired, Rose used to rub her face with pepper to produce disfiguring blotches. Later, she wore a thick circlet of silver on her head, studded on the inside, like a crown of thorns. (Scientists recently performed an analysis of her skull, which has been kept by Dominicans in Peru and created a digital reconstruction of her face. – See below).
What might have been a merely eccentric life was transfigured from the inside. If we remember some unusual penances, we should also remember the greatest thing about Ros -: a love of God so ardent, that it withstood ridicule from without, violent temptation, and lengthy periods of sickness. When she died at 31, the city turned out for her funeral. Prominent men took turns carrying her coffin.
It is easy to dismiss excessive penances of the saints as the expression of a certain culture or temperament. But a woman wearing a crown of thorns may at least prod our consciences. We enjoy the most comfort-oriented life in human history. We eat too much, drink too much, use a million gadgets, fill our eyes and ears with everything imaginable. Commerce thrives on creating useless needs on which to spend our money. It seems that when we have become most like slaves, there is the greatest talk of “freedom.” Are we willing to discipline ourselves in such an atmosphere?
Quote/s of the Day – 23 August – Friday of the Twentieth week in Ordinary Time, Year C and the Memorial of St Rose of Lima (1586-1617)
“If only we would learn how great it is to possess divine grace and how many riches it has within itself, how many joys and delights. We would devote all our concern to winning for ourselves pains and afflictions, in order to attain the unfathomable treasure of grace.”
“Apart from the Cross there is no other ‘ladder’ by which we might get to heaven.”
“We must not fail to help our neighbours, because in them we serve Jesus.”
One Minute Reflection – 23 August – Friday of the Twentieth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Today’s Gospel: Matthew 23:34-40 and the Memorial of St Rose of Lima (1586-1617)
“You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart … You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” … Matthew 22:37,40
REFLECTION – “Thus, then, the obedient man,with the light of faith, in the truth burning in the furnace of charity … receives his end from Me, his Creator.”…St Catherine of Siena (1347-1380) Doctor of the Church
PRAYER – “God our Father, for love of You, St Rose of Lima left the world and gave herself to a life of penitence, austerity and charity. Help us by her prayers, so to follow the path of life on earth, in complete love of You and thus of Your children, that we may obtain the fullness of joy in Your presence in heaven and be clothed fit for the wedding feast. We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.
St Abbondius of Rome
St Apollinaris of Rheims
St Archelaus of Ostia
St Asterius of Aegea
St Claudius of Aegea
St Domnina of Aegea
St Eleazar of Lyons
St Flavian of Autun
Bl Franciszek Dachtera
Bl Giacomo Bianconi of Mevania
St Ireneus of Rome
Bl Jean Bourdon Bl Ladislaus Findysz (1907-1964) Martyr
St Lupo of Novi
St Maximus of Ostia
St Minervius of Lyons
St Neon of Aegea
St Philip Benizi (1233-1285) Biography here: https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/08/23/saint-of-the-day-23-august-st-philip-benezi/
St Quiriacus of Ostia
St Theonilla of Aegea
St Timothy of Rheims
St Victor of Vita
St Zaccheus of Jerusalem
Martyrs of Agea – 4 saints: A group of Christian brothers, Asterius, Claudius and Neon, denounced by their step-mother who were then tortured and martyred in the persecutions of Pro-consul Lysias. They were crucified in 285 outside the walls of Aegea, Cilicia (in Asia Minor) and their bodies left for scavengers.
Martyred in the Spanish Civl War:
• Blessed Constantino Carbonell Sempere
• Blessed Estanislau Sans Hortoneda
• Blessed Florentín Pérez Romero
• Blessed José Polo Benito
• Blessed Lorenzo Ilarregui Goñi
• Blessed Manuela Justa Fernández Ibero
• Blessed Mariano García Méndez
• Blessed Nicolás Alberich Lluch
• Blessed Pere Gelabert Amer
• Blessed Petra María Victoria Quintana Argos
• Blessed Ramón Grimaltos Monllor
• Blessed Urbano Gil Sáez
• Blessed Vicente Alberich Lluch
Saint of the Day – 22 August – Blessed Giacomo Bianconi OP (1220-1301) – Dominican Priest and Friar, Confessor, Spiritual Advisor, founder and restorer of convents and churches – born on 7 March 1220 at Mevania (modern Bevagna), diocese of Spoleto, Umbria, Italy and died on 22 August 1301 at Mevania, Italy of natural causes. He is also known as Blessed James Bianconi.
Blessed Giacomo was born in Bevagna and was received into the Dominican Order at Spoleto in 1236. After his ordination, he devoted his energies to the eradication of the heresy of the Nicolaites from Umbria and finally succeeded in converting its chief propagator, Ortinellus. He became Provincial Minister in 1281 and was elected Prior of the Dominican convents in Spoleto, in 1291 and Foligno, in 1299.
Blessed Giacomo was prominent in providing aid to refugees from Bevagna after the Emperor Frederick II sacked the city in 1249. He was subsequently active in the rebuilding of the town, which culminated in the rebuilding of Palazzo dei Consoli in 1270. In 1291, he received permission to rebuild the church of San Giorgio in Bevagna and to construct the adjoining convent. He also established two nunneries in Bevagna – Santa Lucia and Santa Margherita. Towards the end of his life, he also served as Lector at San Domenico, Orvieto, where he acted as the spiritual advisor of the Blessed Jane of Orvieto. This Church is now renamed as Sts Domenico & Giacomo.
These two statues below, which are thought to have been bought by the Blessed Giacomo in Perugia, were moved from in Sts Domenico & Giacomo to the Pinacoteca in 2016:
✴a figure of the Madonna and Child; and
✴a wooden Crucifix. Once, as he prayed before it because he was experiencing doubts about his salvation, blood spurted from the image and he heard Christ saying: “This blood is the sign of your salvation”.
Both statutes were recorded in the 17th century the Cappella del Crocifisso at SS Domenico & Giacomo, which belonged to the Antici family.
After a life of extraordinary austerity, Giacomo died in Bevagna. Sts George and Dominic appeared to him as he died, in order to reward him for the honour that he had shown to them during his life.
When the Blessed Giacomo died in 1301, he was buried in San Giorgio. Miracles were reported at his grave and his relics were translated in 1302 into a sarcophagus that is now on the counter-facade of Sts Domenico & Giacomo, to the left of the entrance.
The Dominicans rebuilt San Giorgio in 1397 and re-dedicated it as Sts Domenico & Giacomo, probably as part of a bid for the canonisation of Giacomo Bianc oni. Pope Boniface IX granted indulgences to those who prayed before his relics during the first three days of May. Boniface IX granted similar indulgences in respect of Blessed Peter Crisci of Foligno. However, any early attempt to secure canonisation failed.
The relics were re-interred in 1589 in a new sarcophagus, as part of a fresh attempt to secure his beatification. This was adorned with painted scenes by Ascensidonio Spacca, il Fantino that depict the Blessed Giacomo.
Bishop Alfonso Visconti initiated a process for canonisation in 1608 but this was halted when he died soon after. Bishop Maffeo Barberini (later Pope Urban VIII) re-opened the case in 1612 and this led in 1632 to a formal process under three bishops, including Bishop Lorenzo Castrucci of Spoleto. This process was inconclusive and a second was needed before Urban VIII Beatified the Blessed Giacomo in 1641 . The frescoes in the cloister of the convent, which depict scenes from the life of the Blessed James, commemorate this event.
The death of Urban VIII in 1644 probably precluded the canonisation of the Blessed Giacomo. Yet another process was instituted in 1658 and Pope Clement X confirmed the cult in 1672. The relics were finally translated to the gilded bronze urn on the high altar of SS Domenico & Giacomo in 1686. Blessed Giacomo’s praise can be read in the Roman martyrology on 22 August
Saint of the Day – Blessed Jordan of Pisa OP (c 1255–1311) – Dominican Friar, Theologian, Professor, renowned Preacher, Founder of the Confraternity of the Holy Redeemer at Pisa, Visionary, Marian devotee, promoter and daring innovator of the vernacular Italian language as a ‘church’ language and a tool for evangelisation – born c 1255 at Pisa, Italy and died on 19 August 1311 at Piacenza of natural causes. At a time when scholars believed that no colloquial tongue could ever replace Latin as a ‘gentleman’s’ language, Jordan worked to make Italian the beautiful tongue that it is today.
Jordan attended the University of Paris where he first encountered the Dominican friars in 1276. Four years later, probably after obtaining his degrees, he returned to Italy and took the habit. He began a long teaching career there as soon as he was qualified to do so.
He preached and taught variously at Siena, Viterbo and Perugia before eventually moving to Florence, in which area he was a widely respected preacher, eventually being appointed by the provincial chapter at Rieti as a lector in the church of Santa Maria Novella in 1305. He held that post for the next three years and contributed greatly to its esteem. In 1301, he attended a general meeting of the order held in Cologne, Germany..
He seems to have been fascinated with the whole question of preaching as an apostolic tool and to have been one of the first to make a scientific study of it. He pointed out that the Greek church was “invaded by a multitude of errors,” because the Greeks had no preachers, he could never say enough in praise of Saint Dominic’s farsightedness in establishing an order specifically for preaching.
Jordan studied methods of making sermons more effective, both by using examples that would reach the people and by the use of the vernacular. This latter was a much-disputed subject in his day, Jordan was considered a daring innovator. Because it was controversial, he strove to make Italian a beautiful instrument on which he could play the melodies of the Lord.
Blessed with an extraordinary memory, Jordan was renowned for his knowledge in general and knew the Breviary by heart, as well as the Missal, most of the Bible (with its marginal commentary), plus the second part of the Summa. This faculty of memory he used in his sermons but he was quick to point out to young preachers that learning alone can never make a preacher. By the holiness of his own life he made this plain and continually preached it to those he was training to preach.
Jordan of Pisa had two great devotions–to Our Blessed Mother and to Saint Dominic. He was favoured with a vision of Our Lady, she came into the fathers’ refectory and served at table. Jordan, who was the only one who could see her, could barely eat for excitement. He spoke often of her in his sermons and also of Saint Dominic.
In 1311 the Master General, Aymericus Giliani, appointed him professor of theology at the friary of Saint James in Paris, to deliver his reading of the Lombard’s Sentences and obtain his master’s degree but Jordan died on his way to Paris. His body was returned from Piacenza, where death overtook him, to rest in the church of Santa Caterina in Pisa.
On 23 August 1833, Blessed Jordan’s cultus was confirmed by Pope Gregory XVI and in 1838 he was Beatified by Pope Gregory XVI.
Jordan studied the use of preaching for evangelisation. He pioneered the use of the Tuscan language for preaching and lecturing, which helped establish it as the foremost among the vernaculars of Italy. His Tuscan was reputedly versatile and musical but never elaborate or ornate. At Florence he would reportedly preach five times a day, walking about, both indoors and out, followed by a crowd of listeners as he developed his topic. During his lengthy sermons his friend and disciple, Silvester of Valdiseve (1278–1348), sometimes sat near the pulpit with wine to refresh him. Some of his listeners took notes that have survived. His preaching was said to have a positive effect on Florentine public life and morality by its emphasis on sound (i.e. Thomistic) doctrine, Christian living and perseverance. What he had to say would have sounded dry in Latin but significantly, no Latin sermons by Jordan have survived.
God of holiness,
by the integrity of his life and gentle manner
You made Blessed Jordan
a fitting minister to preach the gospel.
By following his example,
may we generously strive to serve You
through service to our neighbour
and so gain the fruit of an everlasting reward.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ,
Your Son, who lives and reigns with You
and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.
General Calendar of the Order of Preachers
Note: The first image above is probably NOT Blessed Jordan but the image found online for him, is actually Blessed Jordan of Saxony. I used this unknown friar above as there seem to be no known images available of Blessed Jordan of Pisa.
St Andrew the Tribune
St Badulf of Ainay
St Bertulf of Luxeuil
St Credan of Evesham
St Donatus of Mount Jura
St Elaphius of Châlons
St Ezekiel Moreno Y Diaz
Bl Hugh Green Bl Jordan of Pisa OP (c 1255–1311)
St Julius of Rome
St Louis of Toulouse
St Magnus of Anagni
St Magnus of Avignon
St Magnus of Cuneo
St Marianus of Entreaigues
St Marinus of Besalu
St Magino of Tarragona
St Namadia of Marsat
St Rufinus of Mantua
St Sarah the Matriarch
St Thecla of Caesarea
St Timothy of Gaza
Martyrs of Nagasaki – 15 beati: A group of missionaries and their laymen supporters who were executed for spreading Christianity in Japan.
• Antonius Yamada
• Bartholomaeus Mohyoe
• Iacobus Matsuo Denji
• Ioachim Díaz Hirayama
• Ioannes Miyazaki Soemon
• Ioannes Nagata Matashichi
• Ioannes Yago
• Laurentius Ikegami Rokusuke
• Leo Sukeemon
• Ludovic Frarijn
• Marcus Takenoshita Shin’emon
• Michaël Díaz Hori
• Paulus Sankichi
• Pedro de Zúñiga
• Thomas Koyanagi
Theywere beheaded on 19 August 1622 at Nagasaki, Japan and Beatified on 7 May 1867 by Pope Pius IX.
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War
Martyred Carmelite Sisters of Charity – 9 beati
Martyred Salesians of Ciudad Real – 8 beati
Martyred Subiaco Benedictines of Barcelona – 7 beati
• Blessed Agueda Hernández Amorós
• Blessed Agustí Busquets Creixell
• Blessed Andrés Pradas Lahoz
• Blessed Antolín Martínez y Martínez
• Blessed Antoni Pedró Minguella
• Blessed Càndid Feliu Soler
• Blessed Cipriano González Millán
• Blessed Damián Gómez Jiménez
• Blessed Elvira Torrentallé Paraire
• Blessed Félix González Bustos
• Blessed Francisca de Amézua Ibaibarriaga
• Blessed Francisco de Paula Ibáñez y Ibáñez
• Blessed Ignasi Guilà Ximenes
• Blessed Isidro Muñoz Antolín
• Blessed Joan Roca Bosch