Thought for the Day – The Memorial of Saint Anthony of Padua OFM (1195-1231) Doctor of the Church, 13 June
Actions Speak Louder than Words
Saint Anthony of Padua
Priest and Doctor of the Church
An excerpt from Sermon, I #226
The man who is filled with the Holy Spirit speaks in different languages. These different languages are different ways of witnessing to Christ, such as humility, poverty, patience and obedience, we speak in those languages, when we reveal in ourselves, these virtues to others. Actions speak louder than words, let your words teach and your actions speak. We are full of words but empty of actions and, therefore, are cursed by the Lord, since He Himself cursed the fig tree when He found no fruit but only leaves. Gregory says: “A law is laid upon the preacher to practice what he preaches.” It is useless for a man to flaunt his knowledge of the law, if he undermines its teaching by his actions.
But the apostles spoke as the Spirit gave them the gift of speech. Happy the man, whose words issue from the Holy Spirit and not from himself! ,,For some men speak as their own character dictates but steal the words of others and present them as their own and claim the credit for them. The Lord refers to such men and others like them in Jeremiah – So, then, I have a quarrel with the prophets that steal my words from each other. I have a quarrel with the prophets, says the Lord, who have only to move their tongues to utter oracles. I have a quarrel with the prophets who make prophecies out of lying dreams, who recount them and lead my people astray with their lies and their pretensions. I certainly never sent them or commissioned them and they serve no good purpose for this people, says the Lord.
We should speak, then, as the Holy Spirit gives us the gift of speech. Our humble and sincere request to the Spirit for ourselves, should be that we may bring the day of Pentecost to fulfilment, insofar, as He infuses us with His grace, by using our bodily senses in a perfect manner and by keeping the commandments. Likewise, we shall request, that we may be filled with a keen sense of sorrow and with fiery tongues for confessing the faith, so that our deserved reward may be to stand in the blazing splendour of the saints and to look upon the triune God.
Saint of the Day – 13 June – St Anthony of Padua OFM (1195-1231) Doctor of the Church
The gospel call, to leave everything and follow Christ, was the rule of Saint Anthony of Padua’s life. Over and over again, God called him to something new in his plan. Every time, Anthony responded with renewed zeal and self-sacrificing to serve his Lord Jesus more completely.
His journey as the servant of God began as a very young man when he decided to join the Augustinians in Lisbon, giving up a future of wealth and power, to be a servant of God. Later, when the bodies of the first Franciscan martyrs went through the Portuguese city where he was stationed, he was again filled with an intense longing to be one of those closest to Jesus Himself: those who die for the Good News.
So Anthony entered the Franciscan Order and set out to preach to the Moors. But an illness prevented him from achieving that goal. He went to Italy and was stationed in a small hermitage where he spent most of his time praying, reading the Scriptures and doing menial tasks.
The call of God came again at an general chapter where no one was prepared to speak. The humble and obedient Anthon,y hesitantly accepted the task. The years of searching for Jesus in prayer, of reading sacred Scripture and of serving Him in poverty, chastity and obedience, had prepared Anthony to allow the Spirit to use his talents. Anthony’s sermon was astounding to those who expected an unprepared speech and knew not the Spirit’s power to give people words.
Recognised as a great man of prayer and a great Scripture and theology scholar, Anthony became the first friar to teach theology to the other friars. Soon he was called from that post to preach to the Albigensians in France, using his profound knowledge of Scripture and theology, to convert and reassure those, who had been misled by their denial of Christ’s divinity and of the sacraments..
After he led the friars in northern Italy for three years, he made his headquarters in the city of Padua. He resumed his preaching and began writing sermon notes to help other preachers. In the spring of 1231, Anthony withdrew to a friary at Camposampiero, where he had a sort of treehouse built as a hermitage. There he prayed and prepared for death.
On 13 June, he became very ill and asked to be taken back to Padua, where he died after receiving the last sacraments. Anthony was Canonised less than a year later and named a Doctor of the Church in 1946.
Anthony should be the patron of those, who find their lives completely uprooted and set in a new and unexpected direction. Like all saints, he is a perfect example of turning one’s life completely over to Christ. God did with Anthony as God pleased—and what God pleased was a life of spiritual power and brilliance that still attracts admiration today heaping miracle upon miracle during Anthony’s lifetime. He whom popular devotion has nominated as finder of lost objects, found himself by losing himself totally, to the providence of God.
St Anthony writes: “Christ, who is your life, is hanging before you, so that you may look at the Cross, as in a mirror. There you will be able to know, how mortal were your wounds, that no medicine other, than the Blood of the Son of God, could heal. If you look closely, you will be able to realise, how great your human dignity and your value are…. Nowhere other than looking at himself, in the mirror of the Cross, can man better understand how much he is worth”(Sermones Dominicales et Festivi III, pp. 213-214).
In meditating on these words we are better able to understand the importance of the image of the Crucified One for our culture, for our humanity that is born from the Christian faith. Precisely by looking at the Crucified One we see, as St Anthony says, how great are the dignity and worth of the human being. At no other point can we understand how much the human person is worth, precisely because, God makes us so important, considers us so important that, in His opinion, we are worthy of His suffering, thus, all human dignity appears in the mirror of the Crucified One and our gazing upon Him is ever a source of acknowledgement of human dignity…..Pope Benedict XVI (General Audience – February 10, 2010)
St Anthony of Padua, pray for us!
Wonderful St Anthony the miracle worker: https://anastpaul.com/2018/06/13/saint-of-the-day-13-june-st-anthony-of-padua-o-f-m-evangelical-doctor-hammer-of-heretics-professor-of-miracles-wonder-worker-ark-of-the-tes/
Celebrating St Anthony: https://anastpaul.com/2017/06/13/celebrating-the-life-and-miracles-of-st-anthony-of-padua-on-his-memorial-today-13-june/
O God, send forth Your Holy Spirit By St Anthony of Padua (1195-1231) Doctor of the Church
send forth Your Holy Spirit
into my heart
that I may perceive,
into my mind,
that I may remember,
and into my soul,
that I may meditate.
Inspire me to speak
Teach, guide and direct my thoughts
and senses, from beginning to end.
May Your grace,
ever help and correct me,
and may I be strengthened now
with wisdom from on high,
for the sake of Your infinite mercy.
Thought for the Day – 23 May – Thursday of the Fifth Week of Easter, C, Gospel: John 15:9-11
“I have said these things to you, so that my joy may be in you”...John 15:11
Saint Francis maintained: “My best defence against all the plots and tricks of the enemy is still the spirit of joy. The devil is never so happy as when he has succeeded in robbing one of God’s servants of the joy in his or her soul. The devil always has some dust on hold that he blows into someone’s conscience through a small basement window so as to make opaque what is pure. But in a heart that is filled with joy, he tries in vain to introduce his deadly poison. The demons can do nothing against a servant of Christ whom they find filled with holy gladness, whereas a dejected, morose and depressed soul easily lets itself be submerged in sorrow or captured by false pleasures.”
That is why he himself always tried to keep his heart joyful, to preserve that oil of gladness with which his soul had been anointed (Ps 45:7). He took great care to avoid sorrow, the worst of illnesses and when he felt that it was beginning to infiltrate his soul, he immediately had recourse to prayer. He said: “At the first sign of trouble, the servant of God must get up, begin to pray and remain before the Father until the latter has caused him or her to retrieve the joy of the person who is saved.” (Ps 51:12)…
Thomas of Celano (c 1190-c 1260)
Biographer of Saint Francis (c 1181-1226)
and Saint Clare of Assisi (1194-1253)
Vita Secunda of St Francis, §125 and 127
St Francis, Pray for Us
that we may be filled with the true joy of a servant of Christ!
Saint of the Day – 19 May – St Maria Bernarda Bütler (1848-1924) aged 74 – Religious Sister, Founder, Missionary, Apostle of the Holy Eucharist, of prayer and charity, Marian devotee – born Verena Bütler on 28 May 1848 in Auw, Aargau, Switzerland and died on 19 May 1924 in Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia of natural causes. St Maria Bernarda was a Swiss Roman Catholic professed religious and the foundress of the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of Mary Help of Sinners and a part of the missions in Ecuador and Colombia. She worked for the care of the poor in these places until her exile from Ecuador and entrance into Colombia where she worked for the remainder of her life. Her order moved there with her and continued to expand during her time there until her death.
Maria Bernarda/Verena Bütler was born in Auw, in the Canton of Argovia, in Switzerland, on 28 May 1848 and was baptised on the same day. She was the fourth child of Henry and Catherine Bütler, modest but exemplary country people, who educated the eight children born of their marriage in the love of God and of neighbour.
Gifted with excellent health, Verena grew up happy, intelligent, generous and a lover of nature. She began to attend school at seven years of age. The fervour and commitment with which she made her First Communion, on 16 April 1860, remained constant in her for the rest of her life.
Devotion to the Eucharist would, in fact, form the foundation of her spirituality.
Having completed her elementary studies at the age of 14, Verena dedicated herself to farm work and experienced affection for a worthy young man with whom she fell in love. On feeling the call of God, she broke off the engagement in order to turn completely to the Lord. During this period in her life she was granted the grace of enjoying the presence of God, feeling Him very close. She herself said: “To explain this state of soul to someone who has never experienced anything similar is extremely difficult, if not impossible”. And again: “The Holy Spirit taught me to adore, praise, bless and give thanks to Jesus in the tabernacle at all times, even at work and in real life.
Drawn by the love of God, she entered a convent in her region as a postulant at 18 years of age. However, becoming aware that it was not the place to which the Lord was calling her, Verena very quickly returned home.
Work, prayer and apostolic activity in the parish kept her desire for the consecrated life alive. At the suggestion of her Pastor, Verena entered the Franciscan Monastery of Mary Help of Sinners in Altstätten on 12 November 1867. She took the Franciscan habit on 4 May 1868, taking the name of Sister Maria Bernarda of the Heart of Mary and made her Religious Profession on 4 October 1869 with the firm proposal of serving the Lord until death in the contemplative life.
She was very soon elected Mistress of Novices and Superior of the Community on three occasions, carrying out this fraternal service for nine consecutive years. Her zeal and love for the Kingdom of God had prepared her to begin a new missionary experience. Having willingly accepted the invitation of Msgr. Peter Schumacher, Bishop of Portoviejo in Ecuador, who, outlining the precarious situation of his people, asked her to come to his Diocese. Maria Bernarda clearly saw the will of God, who was calling her to be an announcer of the Gospel in that far away country, in this invitation.
Having overcome the initial resistance of the Bishop of St Gall and obtained a regular pontifical indult, Sr Maria Bernarda and six companions left the Monastery in Altstätten and set out for Ecuador on the 19th of June 1888. Only their light of faith and zeal to announce the Gospel sustained the Blessed and her companions in the difficult separation from their beloved Monastery and Sisters. In her intentions, Maria Bernarda thought of giving birth to a missionary foundation dependent on the Swiss Monastery.
The Lord, however, made her instead the foundress of a new Religious Congregation, that of the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of Mary Help of Sinners.
They were received paternally by the Bishop, who entrusted to Maria Bernarda the community of Chone, which presented a distressing spectacle because of the total lack of priests, scant religious practice and rampant immorality. Maria Bernarda became “everything to everyone”, placing prayer, poverty, fidelity to the Church and the constant exercise of the works of mercy at the base of her missionary work. She, together with her daughters, began an intense apostolate among families, deepening their knowledge of the language and of the culture of the people. The first fruits did not delay in maturing. The Christian life of the people blossomed again as if by magic.
The new Franciscan Congregation also grew in number and two filial houses were founded in Sant Ana and Canoa. Very soon after however, the missionary work of Mother Maria Bernarda was marked by the mystery of the Cross. Many indeed were the sufferings to which she and her daughters were submitted – absolute poverty, torrid heat, uncertainty and difficulties of every kind, risks to their health and security of their lives, misunderstanding on the part of ecclesiastical authorities and, besides, the separation of some Sisters from the community, establishing themselves later as an autonomous congregation (the Franciscans of the Immaculate: Blessed Charity Brader). Maria Bernarda underwent all this with heroic fortitude and in silence without defending herself or nourishing resentment towards anyone but forgiving them from her heart and praying for those who made her suffer.
As if all these trials were not enough, a violent persecution in 1895, begun by forces hostile to the Church, obliged Sr Maria Bernarda and her Sisters to flee from Ecuador. Without knowing where to go, she went, with 14 Sisters, towards Bahia, from where she continued towards Colombia.
The group was still wandering when it received an invitation from Msgr. Eugene Biffi to work in his Diocese of Cartagena. So, on 2 August 1895, the feast of the Porziuncola of Assisi, the Foundress and her Sisters, exiled from Ecuador, reached Cartagena and were received paternally by the Bishop . They found hospitality in a female hospital, commonly called a “Pious Work”. The Lord had led her by the hand towards that asylum, where Mother Mary Bernard would remain to the end of her life. After the house in Cartagena, the Foundation was extended not only in Columbia but also in Austria and Brasil.
With a compassionate heart, authentically Franciscan, she engaged above all in relieving the spiritual and material needs of the poor, whom she always considered to be her favourites. She used to say to the Sisters: “Open your houses to help the poor and marginalised. Give preference to the care of the indigent over all other activity”. The Mother guided her Congregation over thirty years. Even after resigning from the Office of Superior General, she continued to animate her dear Sisters with feelings of true humility, especially through the example of her life and her words and writings.
Struck by piercing hypo-gastric pains, while at the “Pious Work” in Cartagena, an establishment of her Daughters and loved and venerated by all as an authentic saint, Mary Bernard quietly went to sleep in the Lord on 19 May 1924. She was 74 years of age, 56 in the consecrated life and 38 in missionary life. News of her death spread quickly. The Pastor of the Cathedral of Cartagena announced her passing away, saying to the faithful: “A saint has died in this city, this morning – the reverend Mother Bernard!” Her tomb immediately became a centre of pilgrimage and a place of prayer.
The apostolic zeal and ardour of charity of Mother Mary Bernard are being re-lived today in the Church, particularly through the Congregation founded by her, present at the moment in various countries on three continents. The Blessed can be pointed out as an authentic model of “inculturation”, the urgency of which the Church has underlined for an efficient announcement of the Gospel (cf. Redemptoris Missio, n. 52). She incarnated perfectly her orienting motto: “My guide, my star, is the Gospel”.
During her life, she found support and comfort in God alone.
From the time she abandoned her homeland, to which she never went back, when she left her dear Monastery in Altstätten and during her untiring apostolic activity, she was always sustained by a solid spirituality of unceasing prayer, heroic charity towards God and her neighbour, by a faith that was solid as rock, by an unlimited trust in the Providence of God, by evangelical strength and humility and by a radical fidelity to the commitments of her consecrated life. From her contemplation of the mysteries of the Most Holy Trinity, the Eucharist and the Passion of the Lord, she also drew the gift of mercy towards all, which she practised and left, as the particular charism of her Congregation. Very devoted to the Virgin Mother of the Lord, she wished her Congregation to have Our Lady Help of Sinners as mother, protector and life model in her discipleship of Christ and in her missionary activity. As a Franciscan, she cultivated the same veneration which St Francis of Assisi nourished for “Holy Mother Church”, Pastors and priests, whom she called “the anointed of the Lord”.
The Blessed left an admirable example of the biblical woman – strong, prudent, mystical, spiritual teacher and notable missionary. She left the Church a wonderful testimony of dedication to the cause of the Gospel, teaching all, especially today, that it is possible to unite contemplation and action, life with God and service to humanity, bringing God to men and women, and men and women to God.
The Servant of God St Pope John Paul II conferred the title and honour of Blessed her on 29 October 1995. The Holy Father, Benedict XVI, inscribed her in the register of Saints on 12 October 2008…Vatican.va
Our Morning Offering – 15 May – ‘Mary’s Month” – Wednesday of the Fourth week of Easter, C
Mother of Mercy By St Bonaventure (1217-1274) Serpahic Doctor
Virgin full of goodness,
Mother of Mercy,
I entrust to you my body and soul,
my thoughts, my actions,
my life and my death.
O my Queen, help me,
and deliver me from all
the snares of the devil.
Obtain for me the grace
of loving my Lord Jesus Christ,
with a true and perfect love,
and after him, O Mary,
to love you with all my heart
and above all things.
St Albian of Albée
Bl Angela Bartolomea dei Ranzi
Bl Angela Isabella dei Ranzi
St Antonia of Constantinople
St Antonina of Nicaea
St Antonia of Nicomedia
St Antonius of Rocher
St Arbeo of Freising
St Augustine Webster
St Cunegund of Regensburg
St Curcodomus of Auxerre
St Cyriacus of Ancona
St Ethelred of Bardney
St Florian of Lorch
Bl Hilsindis Bl Jean-Martin Moyë (1730-1793) Biography: https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/05/04/saint-of-the-day-4-may-blessed-jean-martin-moye-1730-1793/ St Jose Maria Rubio y Peralta SJ (1864-1929)
St Judas Cyriacus
Bl Ladislas of Gielniów
St Luca da Toro
Bl Margareta Kratz
Bl Michal Giedroyc
St Nepotian of Altino
Bl Paolino Bigazzini
St Paulinus of Cologne
St Paulinus of Senigallia
St Pelagia of Tarsus
St Porphyrius of Camerino Rino
St Richard Reynolds
St Robert Lawrence
St Silvanus of Gaza Bl Tommaso da Olera/Acerbis OFM Cap (1563-1631)
Carthusian Martyrs: A group of Carthusian monks who were hanged, drawn and quartered between 19 June 1535 and 20 September 1537 for refusing to acknowledge the English royalty as head of the Church:
• Blessed Humphrey Middlemore
• Blessed James Walworth
• Blessed John Davy
• Blessed John Rochester
• Blessed Richard Bere
• Blessed Robert Salt
• Blessed Sebastian Newdigate
• Blessed Thomas Green
• Blessed Thomas Johnson
• Blessed Thomas Redyng
• Blessed Thomas Scryven
• Blessed Walter Pierson
• Blessed William Exmew
• Blessed William Greenwood
• Blessed William Horne
• Saint Augustine Webster
• Saint John Houghton
• Saint Robert Lawrence
Martyrs of Cirta: Also known as
• Martyrs of Cirtha
• Martyrs of Tzirta
A group of clergy and laity martyred together in Cirta, Numidia (in modern Tunisia) in the persecutions of Valerian. They were – Agapius, Antonia, Emilian, Secundinus and Tertula, along with a woman and her twin children whose names have not come down to us.
Martyrs of England: 85 English, Scottish and Welsh Catholics who were martyred during the persecutions by Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries. They are commemorated together on 22 November.
• Blessed Alexander Blake • Blessed Alexander Crow • Blessed Antony Page • Blessed Arthur Bell • Blessed Charles Meehan • Blessed Christopher Robinson • Blessed Christopher Wharton • Blessed Edmund Duke • Blessed Edmund Sykes • Blessed Edward Bamber • Blessed Edward Burden • Blessed Edward Osbaldeston • Blessed Edward Thwing • Blessed Francis Ingleby • Blessed George Beesley • Blessed George Douglas • Blessed George Errington • Blessed George Haydock • Blessed George Nichols • Blessed Henry Heath • Blessed Henry Webley • Blessed Hugh Taylor • Blessed Humphrey Pritchard • Blessed John Adams • Blessed John Bretton • Blessed John Fingley • Blessed John Hambley • Blessed John Hogg • Blessed John Lowe • Blessed John Norton • Blessed John Sandys • Blessed John Sugar • Blessed John Talbot • Blessed John Thules • Blessed John Woodcock • Blessed Joseph Lambton • Blessed Marmaduke Bowes • Blessed Matthew Flathers • Blessed Montfort Scott • Blessed Nicholas Garlick • Blessed Nicholas Horner • Blessed Nicholas Postgate • Blessed Nicholas Woodfen • Blessed Peter Snow • Blessed Ralph Grimston • Blessed Richard Flower • Blessed Richard Hill • Blessed Richard Holiday • Blessed Richard Sergeant • Blessed Richard Simpson • Blessed Richard Yaxley • Blessed Robert Bickerdike • Blessed Robert Dibdale • Blessed Robert Drury • Blessed Robert Grissold • Blessed Robert Hardesty • Blessed Robert Ludlam • Blessed Robert Middleton • Blessed Robert Nutter • Blessed Robert Sutton • Blessed Robert Sutton • Blessed Robert Thorpe • Blessed Roger Cadwallador • Blessed Roger Filcock • Blessed Roger Wrenno • Blessed Stephen Rowsham • Blessed Thomas Atkinson • Blessed Thomas Belson • Blessed Thomas Bullaker • Blessed Thomas Hunt • Blessed Thomas Palaser • Blessed Thomas Pilcher • Blessed Thomas Pormort • Blessed Thomas Sprott • Blessed Thomas Watkinson • Blessed Thomas Whitaker • Blessed Thurstan Hunt • Blessed William Carter • Blessed William Davies • Blessed William Gibson • Blessed William Knight • Blessed William Lampley • Blessed William Pike • Blessed William Southerne • Blessed William Spenser • Blessed William Thomson •
They were Beatified on 22 November 1987 by Pope John Paul II.
Martyrs of Novellara: A bishop and several his flock who were martyred together in the persecutions of Diocletian and whose relics were kept and enshrined together. We know nothing else about them but the names – Apollo, Bono, Cassiano, Castoro, Damiano, Dionisio, Leonida, Lucilla, Poliano, Tecla, Teodora and Vespasiano. They were Martyred on 26 March 303. Their relics were enshrined in the parish of Saint Stephen in Novellara, Italy in 1603.
St James the Lesser Apostle (Feast) St Philip the Apostle (Feast) Sts James and Philip: https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/05/03/3-may-feast-of-sts-philip-and-james-apostles-and-martyrs/
St Adalsindis of Bèze
Bl Adam of Cantalupo in Sabina
St Ahmed the Calligrapher
St Aldwine of Peartney
St Pope Alexander I
St Alexander of Constantinople
Bl Alexander of Foigny
St Alexander of Rome
Bl Alexander Vincioli
St Ansfrid of Utrecht
St Antonina of Constantinople
St Diodorus the Deacon
Bl Edoardo Giuseppe Rosaz
St Ethelwin of Lindsey
St Eventius of Rome
St Gabriel Gowdel
St Juvenal of Narni
Bl Maria Leonia Paradis
St Maura of Antinoe
St Peter of Argos
St Philip of Zell
Bl Ramon Oromí Sullà
St Rhodopianus the Deacon
St Scannal of Cell-Coleraine
Bl Sostenaeus St Stanislas Kazimierczyk CRL (1433–1489)
St Theodolus of Rome
St Timothy of Antinoe